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Town centres

Each of Knowsley’s town centres offer residents a unique range of local amenities, shops and leisure attractions to enjoy. Creating an environment where vibrant local centres can thrive is a key priority for the council. The council has invested over £120 million over the last five years to bring improvements to our town centres, successfully attracting new businesses and an improved and enhanced retail and hospitality offer creating a night time economy. This investment continues with further developments in the pipeline.

Our consultation findings, carried out over the summer of 2022, asked a number of questions relating to our town centres. The findings highlighted that 91% of people could access shops in their town centre, 81% agreed there were restaurants and pubs in their local area and 86% agreed they could access a local library or leisure centre.

The council is currently providing free car parking in all council-owned car parks across all town centres. There is a range of short-stay (up to 3 hours) and long-stay parking bays. Short-stay restrictions are still being enforced.


The council has ambitious plans to invest in the extension of the local district centre in Halewood – a development initially delivered by the Council in 2012. The current centre includes an Aldi supermarket, Iceland, Home Bargains, Subway and other retail units, along with parking for 300 cars, a library, an NHS Walk-In centre and GP surgeries.

The council is keen to develop the local offer and invest further in the area for the benefit of local residents. With new housing developments underway the population is set to grow even more. In response, the council is making £4.4m of major road improvements and using £9m of private sector contributions to increase school places and enhance early years services. Finch Woods is being improved and maintained, and public transport for residents improved.

The proposed extension and development of the district centre will see this area expand, as well as improvements and enhancements made to the green space. This will include better links, and a new facility for the Junior Football club.

Knowsley Council has secured (in January 2023) £15.3m of funding from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to support its development plans for Halewood. They include an expansion of the local district centre, improvements to greenspace and leisure facilities, as well as funding improvements to walking and cycling connectivity throughout the town and to employment areas.

Halewood green space.


Huyton Village Centre is a well-established shopping destination for the local community. Home to the main civic campus of the Borough, the Village Centre is well served by public transport and offers a range of independent and national retailers alongside a growing night-time economy and an events programme (subject to the availability of funding).

The council has a 10-year development plan to further improve Huyton Village Centre with work already well underway to enhance the local area creating new opportunities for retail, leisure, commercial and residential development.

In the last three years in particular, the Village Centre has established its own blossoming night-time economy. This has been supported by an extensive programme of improvements to shop fronts, which have seen the installation of new windows, doors, signage and lighting across the village centre. These key improvements have allowed for more food and beverage operators to consider Huyton, with a range of establishments opening up. This includes a Steak House alongside Mediterranean, Italian, Greek and Turkish eateries.

Plans are currently progressing to bring a “maker-space” into the Village Centre (in the former Boots building). Maker spaces provide a location for people to gather to co-create, share ideas, resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. Many use the maker-space building as an opportunity to develop their skills, develop networks and use it as a first step to venture out into the business world.

Key sites are primed and ready for development which has included the demolition of outdated buildings and site works so that they are ready for future development.

The train station has also benefitted from investment alongside improvements to CCTV and the illumination of key gateway landmarks – Archway Road railway bridge and St Michael’s Church.

Future plans include the creation of a commercial district (which will include the council’s HQ, a hotel, commercial and residential accommodation), a village green and significant improvements to the high street and station gateway area. This provides the potential for approximately 1,700 jobs and a £50.8m boost to the local economy.

Shops in Huyton village at night.


Kirkby has undergone a major transformation over the last few years thanks to the council’s multi-million investment to buy and expand the town centre offer.

Since that purchase, the Council has worked to deliver a 94,000 sq ft retail development – constructed in just under two years. Kirkby is now home to a Morrisons superstore, petrol filling station, large Home Bargains, drive-thru KFC and Taco Bell restaurants as well as PureGym. It also provides over 450 free parking spaces for visitors and has created jobs locally for 500 people.

Alongside the new additions, Kirkby Town Centre is also home to an array of established high-street shops and the undercover Kirkby Market with around 80 stalls (which has recently benefitted from a £50,000 makeover).

Kirkby town centre, statue of an elephant.


Prescot’s transformation in recent years has been nothing short of spectacular, with the Council and partners investing millions of pounds in the town centre. Central to Prescot’s rejuvenation is the Shakespeare North Playhouse which opened its doors in July 2022.

Celebrating Prescot’s links to Elizabethan theatre – and to Shakespeare himself – the Playhouse is a world-class arts venue that will attract thousands of visitors to the town each year. Much more than providing a new theatre, studio space, outdoor performance garden, café bar and shop, the Playhouse also offers an education programme and lots of community events and access.

In recognition of the increasing visitor numbers expected in the town, the town centre has also changed significantly in recent years, with new businesses opening-up, independent retailers moving to the town and Prescot now has a well-established night-time economy.

Alongside the new mix of retailers, the town’s historic buildings are being restored and major investments made to improve the Prescot railway station and bus station. Funding has also improved the general appearance and connectivity in the town centre, with new signage, paving and striking public art.

In December 2022, the Council purchased Prescot Shopping Centre in order to further develop the town centre. The purchase also includes the former Stephenson’s Printworks building, additional retail units on Eccleston Street, Market Place and all car parking at the shopping centre. With the site now in their ownership, the Council reopened the full car park on site, ensuring all car parking spaces are available. The Council also plans to make improvements to the shopping centre to attract new occupiers and will begin work on additional shop front improvements on Eccleston Street. The Council is also planning to consult with the community and local businesses for their views on the future of the centre.

By buying the site, the Council is also able to secure future car parking provision in the town centre, providing spaces for the many visitors to the town and to support the new Shakespeare North Playhouse.

Prescot town centre.

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