St Helens City Growth Plans

This is a shortened version a the news release by St Helens Council. For full details please see the contact details at the bottom of the post.

A wide-ranging consultation exercise has been launched in order to update and revise the private sector led St.Helens City Growth Strategy (CGS), which acts as the business plan for "St.Helens plc".

The original 10-year CGS was launched in 2003 following St.Helens’ selection by then Chancellor Gordon Brown as one of only 4 national pilot areas for this ground-breaking economic development initiative pioneered at Harvard Business School in the US. The decision to update and revise the CGS after less than 5 years has been taken because the vast majority of the 60 original projects identified have either been completed or are well on the way to being delivered.

Key CGS achievements include the provision of new business premises, the start on site of 3 new Urban Villages comprising 2,200 new homes, the comprehensive upgrading of the town centre’s public realm, an iconic new Central Station, the "Brand New St.Helens" integrated marketing initiative just launched, plus the selection of the former Sutton Manor colliery as one of only seven UK sites for a Channel 4 Big Art Project. Meanwhile the St.Helens Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) has already helped create more than 550 new businesses and 1,250 new jobs.

The CGS consultation document sets out initial views on the important issues for the future development of the St.Helens economy. It has been produced by the St.Helens Enterprise Forum - a private sector led sub-group of St Helens Chamber Board responsible for overseeing the delivery of CGS and LEGI - working closely with St Helens Council.

The original CGS vision for St.Helens to become established as "A vibrant modern place for enterprise and a regional location of choice" has been retained in the revised draft strategy. The four key themes are also largely the same, namely:

Theme A: Transforming the Business Base: growing the number of businesses, diversifying and strengthening the business base, and increasing the number of people in employment.

Theme B: Transforming Ambition: creating an entrepreneurial culture and raising aspirations among St.Helens residents.

Theme C: Achieving a Physical Transformation: improving the overall appearance of St.Helens, enhancing the town centre and wider tourism and leisure offer, additional residential development and exploiting our prime regional connectivity.

Theme D: Transforming Perceptions: changing external perceptions of St.Helens, raising the Borough’s overall profile, and engendering greater local pride among local residents.

Steve Gange, HR Director at Pilkington’s and Chair of the St.Helens Enterprise Forum. comments: "This is a great time to be setting up or growing a business in St.Helens. The economy is going from strength to strength and the transformation of the Borough over the last 4 years, particularly in terms of its physical appearance, has been remarkable.

We still face a number of challenges however and that is why revising the CGS is important, to help identify priorities and projects to build on and maintain our recent success.

We are fortunate in St Helens that the views of local businesses are taken very seriously by the public sector. CGS is intended to be a private sector led initiative and it is therefore vital that as many businesses as possible take the opportunity to have their say now, just as they did with the initial City Growth Strategy."

Cllr. Neil Taylor, Executive Member for Urban Regeneration at St.Helens Council, adds "It is a reflection of the pace of successful regeneration in St.Helens that we are radically updating our 10-year City Growth Strategy after only 4 years!

St.Helens is well on its way to becoming established as a vibrant, modern place for enterprise and a regional location of choice, reflected in the fact that Barclay’s Bank found us to be one of the top 11 places in terms of business start up growth last year.

The consultation findings will inform the growth of "St.Helens plc" for the next ten years, making this a real opportunity for people to shape the Borough’s future, so please complete the survey and tell us what you think!"

The consultation period runs until Friday 14 December, and anyone wanting to have their say should fill out the brief questionnaire online at Two open consultation events have also been organised on Monday 19th November from 5pm-7pm and Thursday 22nd November from 8:30am-10:30am. Both will take place at St Helens Chamber.

For further information, please contact John Whaling, Economic Development Manager at St.Helens Council via or 01744 456 047, or Kath Boullen, Chief Executive of St Helens Chamber, via or 01744 742 000.

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