Main contractor appointed on first phase of St Helens town centre regeneration
Vinci Building has been appointed as main contractor for the first phase of St Helens town centre redevelopment.
The scheme is by St Helens Borough Council and The English Cities Fund (ECF) and will transform 24 acres of land, revitalising the heart of the town centre and representing the largest ever single investment in St Helens.
The plans already has hybrid approval and will progress to a start on site in the first quarter of 2024, subject to a more detailed Reserved Matters planning application that is being submitted in the autumn.
The scope of works for Vinci Building is expected to cover the majority of the £90.69m secured by St Helens Borough Council and ECF for the town centre regeneration, with the specifics of the contract to be agreed following Reserved Matters consent.
Vinci Building will lead the construction of a new market hall flanked by a mixed-use area set around a 120-bedroom globally branded hotel, 64 new homes and 11,000 sq ft of modern retail space, along with high quality sustainable public spaces.
The scope of initial works will also see replacement of the existing bus station with a new modern multi-modal interchange and active travel improvements across the wider town centre.
Vinci Building will be working to bespoke sustainability strategies for each building that have been developed by the council and ECF and are anchored on five key themes: Net Zero Carbon; Enhancing Biodiversity; Social Value; Circular Economy; and Health/Wellbeing.
In particular, the redevelopment will deliver significant social value in direct support of the council’s recently adopted Inclusive Growth Strategy.
Phase one as a whole is expected to have a strong impact in terms of employment and Gross Value Added (GVA) – some 485 new jobs across the development once it is fully occupied, generating £23.2m GVA each year.
In terms of the construction phase, Vinci Building will ensure the use of companies within the borough and buying locally as part of the supply chain, along with creating significant skills, training, and employment opportunities for local people.
To achieve this, it will partner with the council and ECF to create a social inclusion programme. It will see the contractor strive to deliver as much positive impact in the community as possible, through local initiatives that include the Ways to Work scheme and connecting with St Helens College and local schools, to provide employment and training opportunities, while engaging and supporting local Voluntary Community Social Enterprise projects.
Vinci Building will also use its experience of logistics management and phasing of works to minimise the impact on town centre businesses and visitors during the construction phase.
Cllr David Baines, leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “Vinci Building have been given the responsibility of delivering a high quality and highly sustainable first phase development that, during the build programme, will benefit the people of St Helens through a wide range of social value measures.
“Everyone with St Helens’ best interests at heart shares in the belief we need to restore the town centre to its former glory. That means bringing back a sense of our true heritage but also future proofing our buildings, public areas, and transport so that they are fit for purpose.
“A great deal of time, energy and thought has gone into listening to what our community wants – a high quality scheme that will be uniquely St Helens. Vinci Building has the experience and capability to help us deliver our vision of a town centre that is child and family-friendly, safe, and sustainable, with thriving places for local businesses, shoppers, visitors, and residents.”
Max Bentham, development director at ECF, said: “Vinci Building has the experience and capability to deliver against our goal of a highly sustainable, large scale transformation of the town. This a hugely ambitious and multi-faceted regeneration project that will leave a lasting positive legacy.”
John Roberts, Vinci Building managing director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Vinci Building to showcase our technical expertise in town centre regeneration. This project allows us to increase our social value commitments and add value within the borough and surrounding Liverpool City Region.”
Vinci Building was selected through a procurement process governed by the North West Construction Hub.