Town centre developers St Modwen ‘encouraged’ by interest shown in regeneration scheme
REGENERATION company St. Modwen are ‘encouraged’ by the level of interest from potential occupiers in its Skelmersdale Town Centre scheme following the end of a legal challenge to it going ahead.
Paul Batho, projects director at St. Modwen, said: “Together with our partners, West Lancashire Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, we have re-engaged with potential occupiers and are extremely encouraged by the response to date.
“We are now actively working with our partners to identify a time frame for delivery of the project and are engaged in progressive discussions with a number of potential occupiers who are interested in coming to Skelmersdale.
“Although the regeneration scheme was granted planning permission by the Council in 2015, the decision was subject of legal challenge and consequently we have been unable to progress the scheme or make any major announcements. Having successfully defended against the legal challenge, we are now in a position to resume discussions with potential occupiers.”
Responding to the Skelmersdale town centre partners update statement, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper commented: “I am delighted the partners have provided an update on the Skelmersdale redevelopment project.
“It is clear to me though that residents won’t be assured the town centre scheme will be delivered until the diggers are finally on site.
“I’m encouraged that the partners are indicating they are wanting to get a move on to make this project as the end of the original 15 year contract gets ever closer.
“Along with Skelmersdale residents, I am looking forward to further meaningful updates from the partners on their progress.”
As well as delivering new shops the Skelmersdale Town Centre regeneration scheme aims to create new leisure opportunities including a cinema, restaurants and bars.
St Modwen has promised the scheme will also bring a host of other benefits, including a high street link between West Lancashire College and the Concourse Centre, the construction of new and attractive public spaces, together with improved lighting and pedestrian surfaces.
The regeneration company has said the scheme will make the town centre more attractive for shoppers and visitors looking to enjoy their leisure time and bring a night time economy. A new play area will be created to help cater for the needs of young families. The scheme will also create in excess of 500 new jobs.
Councillor Ian Moran, leader of West Lancashire Borough Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration, said: “This major scheme will benefit not just the people of Skelmersdale but the whole of West Lancashire. We are working with partners and progress is being made. We look forward to being involved in further exciting announcements in the near future.”
St. Modwen has been working in partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency since 2007 for the delivery of a ‘comprehensive regeneration scheme’ in Skelmersdale Town Centre.
Earlier this year West Lancs MP Rosie Cooper expressed ‘disappointment’ that there is no mention of St Modwen's £10m proposed scheme to regenerate Skelmersdale town centre in the company's annual results for its North West division,