JMA have been working closely with Muse, St Helens Council and The English Cities Fund to produce a new vision and masterplan for St Helens Town Centre. The existing Hardshaw Centre will be demolished, to enable the historic street pattern to be reinstated, improving the town centre permeability, wayfinding and reanimating street frontages. Our approach to the masterplan is to create a series of positive spaces that people enjoy spending time in. Key to this was a thorough analysis of the historical assets of the towns and a rigorous understanding of what doesn’t work – in order to fix the problems and build unique sense of identity for the town.
The masterplan has been subdivided into 5 development plots. A NABERS 5* enabled, timber framed office building occupies the north west corner of the development. Setting up a clear relationship with the Gamble Building and The Theatre Royal. The office will have a clear commercial address through the positioning of a new arrival space at the front door.
A mixed use plot comprised of a 120 bed hotel, apartment buildings with ground level retail space and 8 townhouses occupy the north east corner of the masterplan. The introduction of homes within the masterplan repopulate the town centre, providing natural 24 hour surveillance. All the new homes in the scheme have been designed to reduce energy bills and will meet the energy use intensity performance of a Passivhaus building – a standard used to reduce energy consumption through use of highly efficient insulation and airtight building envelopes.
The new street proposed running north to south between the new office building and mixed use plot is on axis with the Church Square, opening up the view to St Marys Church tower. This creates a direct route to the transport interchange. The existing M&S anchor store will be repurposed into a series of smaller retail units, with an active façade which addresses the new street.
A new timber framed market hall occupies the south east of the Phase 1 development. This building will be the centre piece of the development. The market hall has been sited in the position of the historic market hall within the heart of the masterplan, activating Church Square with space for the stalls and events to spill out into the square.
St Helens Masterplan