Where money needs to be spent and what St Helens needs

  • More money for local police – need more officers on the beat regularly
  • Shopping centre like Liverpool 1 or Warrington’s Golden Square
  • Money for mental health help, waiting lists are far too long
  • Money for social care
  • Money to reopen centre library
  • Money for public transport (need direct bus or train from town centre to Manchester airport and Manchester City centre)
  • More shops on the high street
  • Money for Infrastructure, make the town centre more attractive
  • Activities for young people

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79 comments on “Where money needs to be spent and what St Helens needs

  1. The recent budget announcement should give incentives for the resurrection of new businesses to come to the town and offer grants.So start with a blank canvas and pedestrianise the whole of the town centre with an updated ring road, one way system. Eliminate all warren type streets amalgamate all the carparks and introduce a swipe card system at say £5 for parking for a few minutes or a couple of hours to be deducted at say £1 an hour (better rate than other towns) Make Park Road a dual carriageway
    continue with George Street conservation area to include Church Street and Victoria Sq.upgrade canal.Extend the college to form university.

  2. More investment into the nightlife, there’s currently one desirable club and there’s mainly under 18’s that go there which puts the older people off. There should be a range of cocktails bars and clubs that aren’t all full of children and owned by the same person

  3. A more attractive town centre! No more cheap pound shops, we need a retail outlet that people will want to go to. I have lived here for 20 years and try to avoid the town centre as much as possible. It shouldn’t be this way.

  4. The town centre needs a good refurbishment and parking should be free. If I need clothes, I would go to the retail park as it’s easy to park and convenient. If there was something like Cheshire oaks outlet, it would draw a lot of people from other parts of the country.

    The citadel should be opened back up and focus on young band talent, as there are many of original artists in merseyside that are ignored in favour of cover artists who play the same songs over and over again.

  5. We are lucky enough to have a canal running into the town centre, we need to take advantage of this like other towns do. The northerners are proud to be a working crowd of people so we need to use what we once built.
    Encourage things like what they do in Europe. Places with canals running through its town centre take full advantage of this, they use barge boats as gimmick places eg cafes, small gin / cocktail bars. We could create a floating market or day to night drinking / social destination areas. This could be a truly beautiful part of town.
    To encourage people to park and ride. Put the free bus or lower bus rates on around the local train stations Lea green, the junction, Newton which take you directly into the town centre, could lower congestion into the town and help people out with the limited, overpriced parking we currently have.
    I don’t need to mention the high street as it clearly speaks a million words for itself. It’s on its knees, company rates are ridiculous so I think this needs addressing. We need to get the retail park customer back into the shopping mindset instead of just being a One stop destination Shopper.
    Marks and Spencer’s, hire the space out or encourage a supermarket there, something like Liverpool have done, get a Lidl, ALDI , Tesco or someone like that to vacate the space.

  6. Open up the canal at the back of town behind St Helens glass, get boats and permits back on there and link it up with Warrington and what they’re doing, it would bring in tourism with the canal boats and people might sit out in summer for coffee etc which will bring more people back into town.
    The sad state of the town centre won’t get any better if the car parking situation isn’t resolved. Just make it free on the weekend and have done with it.
    We used to have a mini German Market through town which helped in winter. Now it’s all tat. Everything’s a pound shop. People need to want to come into town, after M&S moving and the rest of the shops there is barely any point. You need to big up the locals like burchals and gavins butchers. Local people. You need to reopen the library too. With emphasis on play groups etc. There’s a lot you can do you just don’t listen to the public.

  7. More money needs to go into cleaning up all the litter on the streets in the St Helens area, especially rural locations that never seem to get cleaned up! It’s depressing seeing litter at every turn! And the impact
    it may have on wildlife, no one seems to care, not to mention something needs to be done about the mindless people that I see throwing it out of their cars in the first place!!! Can’t believe why people think it’s ok to do this!

  8. Town is a sorry state of affairs with tat shops ,really needs a facelift and get people coming back and the parking in our town is driving everyone away,needs looking at asap,sherdley show is dire to what it use to be,such a shame because that use to be amazing in my younger years.where has our local football gone? St Helen’s combination all our teams play in warrington leagues now and I get it that most where pub teams and pubs are closing rapidly.even our parks are poor which once again as a kid where such good places to go,sherdley park animal pen and the garden with all the beautiful flowers gone,taylor park boats on the lake and the paddling pool such good memories. Can they get it all back???

  9. Regenerate the town centre, have entertainment areas for restaurants and bars with pretty lit up town roads to walk down of an evening.

    New shopping centre and removal of old tatty looking buildings like the car parks.

    Sherdley Show in the Summer needs to re appear and be as big as it used to be!!

    Create a music/ event venue to bring in revenues and tourism, including more hotels and then people might even stay and spend money!


  10. Improve the town center! It’s a sad looking place. It’s not very familiar friendly and there are not many good independent shops, restaurants and cafes. There is also a very strong disconnect between people and nature in St Helens. It will require more than just planting a few trees though! Instead however on spending the £25million on improving anything…lower the council tax and remove parking charges in town. After all St Helens is not really known for its great shopping, so why then charge people? I have a few friends that had to close their shops because of the high rent and tax charges.

    1. We need to invest in our community, into our education and into our services. We need to invest into our future children, for their education, their mental state and their support. We need to invest into the education as the schools are underfunded, we lack the support we need, to be able to support our children and staff workers at local schools in St. Helen’s. We also lack support in the services, such as police force, social services, counsellors, for schools and children. We lack the need for them, as we need to support the children of our future. We also need to invest in the community into the town, how we operate and how we make a small hard working town shine, because the working people of St. Helen’s make the town rotate and we need to support that. We need to support the Children because they’re the future, so fund the schools, the library’s, outdoors, the services, the police, ambulances, nurses, include all the services from counsellors to social services.

  11. St Helens is a proud town with a rich heritage. It’s clear the town centre will not be restored but instead of focusing on arts based activities which have a traditional weak following in the area, focus on its heritage. Utlising parts of the town centre to develop a historical zone would bring in both investment and footfall. There is so much to go as it would be a diverse feature and something to build a new future for the town centre. There are areas ripe for development by the main railway station and this would totally change the perception when you got of the train by this area. The town centre also desperately needs a new area where young people can go, cheaply and be engaged in diversionary activities. This should be built close to the cinema and college. This area has long been touted as an area for a ‘youth zone’ and it should be actioned sooner rather than later to stop young people becoming victims of criminal cultures.

  12. Regenerating the town centre with better parking and a proper shopping shopping centre like Wigan’s grand arcade or Warringtons golden square

    1. I agree but action needs to happen soon as it could be to little to late , Warrington has a lovely shopping centre and has trendy bars and cafes . St. Helens could be like this . It needs to look more village like and work from the railway station . George street and the neighbouring streets could be made into entertainment area as the streets have a nice feel to them. But there never seems to be much news about what is going on from the council .

  13. A great place to bring the community back together would be Sutton high swimming pool. It’s currently been used as a dumping ground a graveyard if you like for old gym equipment. I have spoken to people about bringing it back and everyone has had a positive response. There are hundreds of new housing in the area. There is no good clean public swimming baths in this area for people to use without transport or a large bank account to pay for private gym membership. Let get the kids learning to swim again. Something every child should do. Something to do in the summer holidays. It’s equipped with I disabled chair also so perfect for the guys who need it. Keep the elderly active. Let’s put some water in that pool. The staff at Sutton high are also happy to go back to their rolls of looking after the pool. We just need the funding. HELP

  14. There needs to be more money for social care for example homeless children/ children at risk of physical and emotional harm. More money for local police therefore there would be less crime as people would deter from committing a crime. Lastly more activities for children under 18’s to do on the regular not just the summer holidays

  15. Investing in parks and green spaces, especially Sherdley as it is the largest would potentially have a knock on positive effect for many problematic issues in St.Helens. Spending time outdoors in green space is widely recognised as a successful treatment for many mental health issues. Organised events with rangers for instance can give a sense of purpose and acheivement. Clubs and events for young adults and teenagers in these spaces could impact on levels of vandalism and drug related crime as simply having something to do is an effective deterent. Also events for older people could impact on loneliness and isolation. Linking parks and green spaces with our heritage and educating about and preserving this gives an understanding of what we belong to and a desire to protect it. A community garden in Sherdleys walled georgian garden for example. Safe outdoor spaces are also essential to young children and their families to stay happy and healthy.

  16. Restore Sherdley show, that attracted investment from further afield.
    More Police
    Road repairs
    Youth centres
    As a town we where a first for steam trains, we where a first for canals, yet we don’t exploit them gifts to the world to attract visitors.

  17. Re doo the town centre and market fix the roads better roads to the eastlands road from the town centerpiece the shops a chance not the retail parks is time now to doo something about it lets get things gowing now before it’s to late sort out the parking make it like widnes free to atraked more people it maks sense come on let’s doo this

  18. I would like to see some money spent on public transport as drivers are slacking on routes due to frustration etc.

    More thought towards the younger generations and activities for them to partake in keeping them busy and off the streets to prevent underage drinking etc

    More money to go to single parents and low income families

  19. I’d like to see some more mental health investments.

    Maybe some improvements in local parks and outside areas such as sherdley after the park lost its petting zoo there hasnt been much of a change since.

    The town centre needs a major look into aswell as improved roads into the centre.

    Invest in new and more modern business ideas so people from around the north west recognise more of sthelens. Maybe try to make it a central hub for the north west as it is very central to alot of the north west big cities.

  20. I hope the council are looking at how Watford high street has been regenerated recently. This in my opinion is the way forward I would shutdown the market and move them closer into town centre. Utilise that space for one big car park for the town centre. We should also place more prestige on the St. Helens campus and try and make it more attractive for students from all over the country to attend. This would generate more income for the town and In turn would create jobs for building trade (student accommodation) & entertainment (bars/cafe & restaurant). I would also dedicate one side of town centre to new living promoting the benefits of living in the town centre. Big ideas 💡 however something needs to be done before we lose it forever.

  21. More money to be used on actual music venues. There is a fair sized music backing in St. Helens and talent coming through. One way to help the town would for music to be taken seriously. Giving an increase in jobs and tourism from further a field.

  22. Town centre investment – attractive shopping centre with shops other than pound land, b and M, pound bakery, pawn brokers and gambling shops.

    Police presence is next to none. The town is like Deadwood. Huge drug and crime problem secondary to a huge poverty problem, also relating to a huge mental health/suicide problem.

  23. Use the budget on things that would actually help.

    Mainly mental health services as they are the thing that has received major cuts.

    Invest in shops that arnt ecig or cheap mobile phone accessory shops.

    Put some money into jobs that arnt support workers or drivers. Most people don’t have experience so don’t have options.

  24. We need drastic investment in the town centre. Part of the money should be used to subsides rental rates in retail property that has been unoccupied for more than 6 months, to entice retailers. There should be active campaigning to get shops and restaurants to open in St. Helens and support for local businesses who want to expand into the town centre.

  25. I think the shops in St Helens need to be sorted as there is not so many anymore and the town is not as attractive as it used to be.

    I also have seen pictures of how the town centre used to look like with Trees, flowers and grass, benches etc. outside the church and I thought that was beautiful but now with it being so open and paved it looks so bare and I think the trees and benches would make the town more attractive and will give home to more birds and allow the elderly to enjoy and have nice places to sit down.

    Benches inside the shopping centres would be nice too as the elderly don’t have them anymore and can’t travel around the town as much without them as they have no where to rest and it’s unfair.
    My nana can’t have a good look around anymore as there is no access to benches within the shopping centres and it is upsetting. I have seen this with a lot of the elderly.

  26. More things to do for youth.

    Mental health support for all.

    More to be done for shops.

    More support for homeless.

    1. The town needs a complete revival. The current Labour council is too busy trying to isolate itself from inclusion in a Greater Merseyside, instead of jumping on the opportunity it will bring. This would bring investment, jobs and spending to improve the local economy.
      Perhaps encouraging new independent retailers and businesses, including eateries, shops, bars and restaurants.
      Get rid of the hideous car parks, redevelop tatty areas and encourage tenants for the empty shops.. forget charging for parking at certain times to encourage shoppers to spend here not surrounding towns.
      At present the town is becoming more depressing and desperate every week with no positivity in sight.

  27. The youth desperately need some way they can meet their friends with activities that they don’t need two months of parent savings to attend to give opportunities for youngsters to explore work play involve themselves in something other than boredom. More workshops for youngsters to explore their creative Self – I would volunteer. More drama clubs. I do think with the town feeling deserted maybe using some spaces for Free to minimal cost workshops or activities for teenagers would get their mindset in a positive light. I don’t know how much it is to rent a space in the town but support the new businesses with low rent so that alternative activities bringing life and interest back into St. Helens. Like escape rooms, event driven and experience based businesses because products will continue to be bought online. St. Helens is an arty town maybe the chance for exhibiting projects.

  28. Shopping centre like Liverpool 1 or Warrington’s Golden Square
    Just general investment in the town centre to make it more attractive

  29. Investment in the town centre. Most of the shops are shut down and the high street seems to be disappearing. Free parking for shoppers and investment in the high street and supporting local business.

  30. We need to attract privet investors in to the area. Which would drive spending and employment in to the local area.

    1. plenty of private investors/ lots of chained shops in the area, so these are already here. maybe encourage small businesses to operate within the town centre, as there are plenty chained shops and malls, around the town centre. investment in small businesses within the town centre.

  31. How about get some more investment, looking at all the comments the town is too run down and the money will not go very far, we need a vision and get investors then we can have a town we all want.

  32. £25m isn’t going to be able to fix the town completely, not even close. Key issues include:

    – Transport links: our bus service is dire and overpriced, and there are next to no transport links to Warrington or Manchester.

    – Things to do: it hardly helps the town that there are only really 3 things to do, go to the pub, watch the rugby, or go to the cinema. More needs to be done to increase community activities and increase pride in the town.

    – Heritage awareness: not enough is done to support and cherish the heritage of this town. It was once an industrial hub, and has even had a film made about it during the 1970s. None of this is publicised enough.

    – Art: there is next to no opportunity to showcase your art or develop yourself as an artist. Given the popularity of art in the town this is absurd, and more should be done to help support local artists.

    – Low-income housing: given the growing homeless population in town, more needs to be done to create both council housing, and affordable housing. More important is the council housing, as what would draw people to the affordable housing in the town’s current state.

  33. Support the volunteers that have turned the Windleshaw chantry from an overgrown, dangerous mess to a place of beauty. At roughly 600 years old I believe it is one of the oldest buildings in St. Helens. As a G2 listed building Windleshaw Chantry is the oldest structure in St. Helens. It is grade 2 listed, placing it among the top 6% of listed buildings in the UK and yet it was left to a group of volunteers to stop it rotting. Can you imagine the heritage centre that could be built around that, combined with tours of the old cemetery designed by the same people that designed Central Park. The volunteers do a wonderful job of restoring and free tours but imagine what could be done with a cash injection and some real focus on preserving And monetising this wonderful piece of history.

  34. Money needs to be invested in addressing unemployment support, housing help for the growing homeless population and more opportunities in the area for young people. People need to be supported throughout the process to ensure they stay off the streets and get proper mental health help.
    An attractive business centre with offices in the centre of the town as well as a new shopping centre to breathe life back into the area and create opportunities for the local population who mainly currently commune large distances.

  35. I have listed the top 3 and emended them to my opinions on weather I agree and if I believe there should be something else more important implemented with the money.

    – More money for local police – need more officers on the beat regularly. – I agree this is an issue particularly on the high street for small shops to be able to function they need assurance that they won’t be robbed every day, which is currently happening to some retail stores!

    – More public waist bins! If there is not a bin within 10 feet of places where people congregate (e.g. Pubs, corner shops, bus shelters, parks ect.) it will result in an abundance of litter. This is a huge problem in St helens, there is litter everywhere! People do not have the option to put things in the bin hense why there is such a huge issue with litter. – A high street is nice but I beleive the litter is a much larger issue that has been ignored for to long. Additionally, what’s the point of having a nice high street if it will eventually be filled with litter!?

    – Money for mental health help, waiting lists are far too long. – I agree, the wait times are way to long.

  36. More money for nurseries. The first place a child attends before school yet they are underfunded, low paid staff and and at risk of closure

  37. The town has a rich industrial heritage and instead of casting this aside, it should be embraced. The Sankey Canal was the first of the industrial age this should be cleaned up/opened up. Look at the possibility of creating a marina (as Pennington Wharf in Leigh – ex colliery land). The narrow-boat community would undoubtedly support such initiatives. The creation of a heritage trail would bring in visitors – starting from the Shaw Street area/canal taking in such things as Masonic Hall, Friends Meeting House, Raven Lodge, The World of Glass, Pilkington Tunnels, Cannington Shaw Bottle Works, Beecham Clock Tower, Victoria Square, Town Hall, The Gamble, Transport Museum. Afternoon tea on a canal boat trip, Niche shops along the heritage trail, artisan baker, chocolatier, blacksmith, glass blowing, etc. The first Saturday (or what ever day) of the month could be a Victorian/Georgian/Tudor/ themed market with traders/actors dressing up etc etc (think The Blackcountry Living Museum). St Helens would be able to pull off something like TBLM – certainly enough history and heritage. Think outside the box to give visitors a reason to come to St Helens as opposed to anywhere else, it has to have a USP.

    The Gamble should be returned to its use as the Central Library, archive in basement, ground floor for local history, research/reference room, and library – using height of building to store more in a smaller space. Middle floor for nursery/toddler group, community café, youth zone, upper floor for museum/exhibition area along with artisan craft manufacture/education – crochet, knitting, jewellery making, screen printing, fused glass work, etc etc (which could be sold in café).

    Railway station at Carr Mill should be reinstated along with ample parking. Carr Mill Dam could be returned back to a leisure facility, rowing boats, water sports, open water swimming, climbing wall, roller skating rink – make it a destination again, could easily host Triathlons.

    These suggestions along with all the foregoing.

    1. So many brilliant ideas, any number of the above would benefit our town and community alike. Needs something that people from other towns will want to come and see, therefore bringing money to the town. It needs an injection of life and personality, which will create more jobs. Help give people more skills. The library and the gamble are exceptionally great ideas

  38. 1.Train Link Direct to Manchester from St Helens Central. Encourage young professionals to stay in town, and commute whilst revamping Town centre.
    2. Money in social services/mental health services so this isn’t a big proportion of council tax. Council Tax huge in comparison to other areas in NW.
    3. Sure Start/Youth community work in sports, art, Web design, literature. Encourage education and activity and get the youth in town to have aspirations.

  39. 1. Carr Mill railway station.
    2. St Helens Central to Junction train stations will massively connect several very well used main lines.
    3. Most people don’t go to the town centre anymore simply because it is full of 2 things… charity and pound shops!! If there’s nothing worth going for, why the hell would we???

  40. Recruit volunteers to maintain and operate the many functions that the Gamble could be used for e.g. public computer area, archive library, community cafe, library, meeting and conference facilities, studios, art and media areas, etc., There is a vast untapped volunteer workforce living in the Borough which is not being utilised. Properly organised by a paid employee the network of volunteers could operate similiar to other organisations I.e. charity shops, National Trust, theatres and art centres volunteers.
    Provide area local youth centres in different parts of the borough. Something sadly lacking throughout the different areas.
    Improvements and more pride in the many parks we have, using Flagship parks I.e. Victoria Park, Taylor Park, as examples of how the parks should be operated. Provision and maintenance of quality equipment, regular grounds maintenance ,security and policing.
    Clean up the town centre canal area.
    Invest in more street and public area cleaning. Some areas are filthy, never cleaned, litter piled up.

  41. St Helens is an old industrial town – clean up the contaminated land and create a unique visitor attraction which could educate folk about manufacturing industries. Some of the old factories could be used as “action museums”, working places that produce small quantities. These can be used as visitor attractions as well as providing training opportunities for young people in manufacturing technologies. Please don’t let St Helens become “just” a dormitory town for Liverpool and Manchester, building more houses without associated infrastructure cannot be the answer to lost revenue.

    1. It really needs an investment into the youth. St Helens is stuck in the past, people are clinging on to the industrial past of the town but that’s gone. Adults struggle to see its potential for the future.
      The town is becoming a logistics ‘haven’ but that’s hell for it’s residents – low paid, low skilled jobs (but also a hard days graft)
      Take advantage of its location, it’s central to many big cities in the northwest – better public transport to Manchester/Leeds.
      Address the apathetic nature of the residents, address mental health issues – create/update green spaces, have more dog friendly cafes in green spaces (ie The Dream), support residents to become involved with issues such as rubbish pick up, clean green spaces, alley ways to become urban gardens, edible plants in public spaces that can be taken away and used.
      Also the town centre is dire – reopen closed shops, farmers markets / small local businesses markets, reduce gambling shops.

      1. The town does have direct trains to manchester and leeds from Lea green / St. helens Junction / Earlestown / Newton-le-Willows

    2. Open the town centre to through traffic encourage some of the large retailers back into the town centre by making more like a retail park.

  42. Money invested in the local parks for children , places to go as a family , shopping arcade with wide range of shopping experience

  43. Invest in a larger night life scene it’s too crowded with just Duke and Westfield street always fights

  44. Reopen the St Helens Central to St. Helens Junction railway line .
    Reopen the Citadel Arts venue.
    Open up the Canal.
    Museum at Rainhill covering the trials.
    Improvements at Sherdley Park such as a Cafe.

  45. Money should be invested in more educational courses for adults without the additional costs and childcare relief.

  46. Renovation of the Historic Canal System so it can be turned into a tourism site. Re-invigorate Sankey Valley visitor centre with better history of the system/waterways etc.

    Rainhill Trials should be a huge focal point for the South of the Town. A proper museum to make it worth people leaving at Junction 7.
    The Gamble Building would make a great Arts/History Cultural Centre in the Town if extensively refurbished, including reinstating the Library there. We need more positivity in the Town , we have incredible world leading firsts and Industries that spring up here. let’s choose to make them front and centre again.

  47. Money to invest in local infrastructure for jobs. 10 year plan of reduced business rates and maybe training to develop for specific industries. Whether that be in green energy or centre for data analytics. Lets have stratergy to bring industry into St helens.

  48. Support for the Voluntary and Community sector which is enabling people to survive and would enable them to engage in new development through releasing their potential. The resilience and creativity of people is a major asset.

  49. I’d like to see a railway station in carr mill/ Laffak, a renovation of areas of the sankey canal and carr mill damn be given funds to open a water sports centre also a way of using the weir to produce power hydroelectrically

  50. Funds for improvement of parks and green spaces. Building recreational facilities such as footgolf and disc golf courses to encourage fitness and wellbeing.

    1. There needs to be community policing with local officers and stations and the return of the custody suites in St. Helens and Earlestown.

      Agree with the other points about developing the canals and saving local heritage and trying to encourage start up green industries.

      The town needs a focal point. A reason to visit. Developing all aspects of old and new through an environmental lens perhaps merging leisure tourism homes and industry

  51. To invest more in cultural heritage and the town’s role in the industrial revolution.

    Rainhill Trials – the museum should be a centre to shout about the trials and a reason to leave the M62
    Carr Mill Dam – Turn it in to a water sports centre with decent changing rooms etc. Make it more accessible. One of the only towns in the area with a decent amount of water.
    Canals – Clean up and open up the canals for cyclists and water sports.

    Train link from St Helens Central to Manchester

  52. Please restore the canal and bring some pride back to the area!
    It will bring with it boaters and cyclists and dog walkers and recreational visitors and holidaymakers which will bring new and fresh custom to the areas businesses.

  53. Restoration of the first canal in the country which is rich in industrial heritage which would in turn attract visitors and businesses to the town & areas along it. A connection to the Leeds Liverpool canal would increase this many fold as it would attract boaters and boating businesses as well.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. It would bring more private and public investment with the canal restored and tourists wanting to visit.

  54. Help with the St Helens Canal Restoration – canals bring prosperity and investment, and the St Helens/Sankey canal is the first Industrial Age canal in the UK – predating the Bridgewater, it boasts the setting of the first industrial age canal crossed by the worlds first Intercity Railway at Earlstown.
    It is a nationally important heritage resource and it’s restoration would bring great economic benefits to the town, as other canal restorations have proven again and again.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. It would bring more private and public investment with the canal restored and tourists wanting to visit.

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