Earlestown , ECF, p Influential

Jon Matthews Architects has designed the refurbishment of Earlestown Town Hall, with Planit leading on landscape proposals. Credit: Our Studio

Plans in for Earlestown Town Hall refurb

ECF and St Helens Council want to transform the long-closed, grade two-listed building into a mixture of flexible workspaces, event spaces, community meeting rooms, and a café.

The proposals for Earlestown Town Hall follow an application last month for a rethink of the town’s Market Square. Both schemes are part of a £30m initiative to revitalise Earlestown’s town centre from the council and the joint venture between Homes England, Muse, and Legal & General.

The projects are supported, in part, by a successful £20m Levelling Up Fund bid. St Helens Council has also contributed £8m to the scheme.

Earlestown Town Hall has been vacant since 2008. A tired building, it was described as being “in poor condition” by planning consultant CBRE.

The ambition is for the plans from ECF and St Helens Council to bring the building back into use. Under designs by Jon Matthews Architects, the revitalised town hall would have 2,200 sq ft of offices, 1,000 sq ft of community zones, public toilets, and a 1,100 sq ft café. This café would sit within a new extension linked to the facility’s ground floor.

The ground floor would also be capable of holding a library down the line.

Going up a level, the first floor would be the home of community spaces and the multi-functional events space with retractable seating. This would mark a return to form for the multi-purpose hall, which once hosted a performance by The Beatles.

There is some demolition required to progress the plans, this includes nixing the mezzanine in the upper floor’s theatre hall.

Visitors would be able to access the building through two entrances on Market Street, as well as an entrance on Tamworth Street. Outside of the structure, they would find a courtyard garden and community allotments.

“Our proposals for the Town Hall reflect the quality we’re committed to achieving in the regeneration of Earlestown,” said Tom Ivinson, development manager at ECF.

“We want to encourage people from all walks of life to come and explore such a historic market town, and by providing a multi-faceted and sustainable community hub, we can create a valued asset for generations to come.”

St Helens Council Leader Cllr David Baines played up the momentum of activity in Earlestown.

“Local residents and businesses are keen for positive change to begin, and these designs for Earlestown reflect our ambitions to make this happen – and in a way that celebrates and builds on our proud local character and qualities,” he said.

“In Earlestown, the proposals for a much more attractive, user-friendly, and flexible Market Square and a fully restored and reopened historic Town Hall will help to deliver the diverse, vibrant town centre the community deserves.”

In addition to Jon Matthews and CBRE, the project team includes structural, transport, and drainage engineer Heyne Tillett Steel, landscape architect Planit, and project manager Arcadis.

Atkins Realis is the cost manager. Cundall is the sustainability expert, with Bowland Tree Consultancy leading on arboricultural matters and We Know Services providing ecological and biodiversity net gain services.

The Environment Partnership is working on the heritage and archaeological aspects of the project. Hilson Moran is the M&E and acoustic engineer. Design Fire Consultants is also on the team.

You can learn more about the Earlestown Town Hall project by searching application reference numbers P/2024/0215/LBC and P/2024/0214/FUL on St Helens Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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Will there be a bank hub in the new biulding ? As there are no banks in Earlstown now.

By Anonymous

Must be local elections coming up …

By Anonymous

It’s going to take a lot more money than that to regenerate Earlestown. The road system, the transport hub, the overhaul of the wrecks that are the shops all need heavy investment, demolition and subsequent building work. The town hall should be saved, but it’ll take more than that the pull the town out of the mire.

By Anonymous

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