Knowsley completes deal to buy Kirkby town centre

Knowsley Council has confirmed that it has reached a £43.8m deal to buy Kirkby town centre to help kick-start its regeneration plans.

As previously reported by New Start, the local authority started negotiations with current owners St. Modwen in May with a view to purchasing the company’s assets in the town centre.

The local authority has now reached a deal with St. Modwen and 87 shops and 12.4 acres of land will now formally transfer to Knowsley Council.

The deal will allow Knowsley Council to push forward with plans for the regeneration of the town centre which will begin with the construction of 94,000 square foot of new retail space, including a new supermarket, petrol station, and improved car parking.

The council said this will be the first time that the council has owned Kirkby town centre and is a ‘significant step forward after 20 years of failed attempts’ from the private sector to progress with development in Kirkby.

The council will pay for the deal by borrowing the initial sum and paying the debt back from the rental income generated from new and existing businesses in the town centre and also by eventually selling some of the land acquired.

The council said it is also in advanced discussions with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority with a view to potentially identifying further funding opportunities.

‘We have delivered on the commitment we announced a couple of months ago,’ said council leader, Cllr Graham Morgan.

‘In taking control of Kirkby town centre, we are now in a position to be able to bring forward the retail development which our residents need, and which we promised.

‘We have always been committed to regenerate Kirkby Town Centre and we have shared the frustrations of many of our residents over the years. This is the single biggest property investment which the council has ever made and we hope that it sends a strong message to our communities that we are behind them and will do everything we can to deliver the positive changes they want,’ added Cllr Morgan.

Photo Credit – Rawpixel (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart


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