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3 Apr 2017 - Children's favourite Mr Bloom is heading to Kirkby Town Centre to celebrate Easter

CBEEBIES star Mr Bloom is headlining a series of family events that are being held in Kirkby Town Centre this spring to celebrate Easter.

For the under-sevens, TV stars don’t get much bigger than Mr Bloom whose TV show Mr Bloom’s Nursery has run on CBeebies since 2011.

The four-hour children’s entertainment roadshow, organised by Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews and leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen, will take place on Saturday 15 April from 12 – 4pm.

Families are invited to Newtown Gardens to meet Mr Bloom. He will be joined on stage in his Easter garden by all of his gardening friends.  The roadshow will entertain and inspire children about nature and the environment.

Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews, said: “We are very excited to have Mr Bloom celebrate Easter with us at Kirkby! Following the success of last year’s Easter and summer events, which saw thousands of visitor’s flock to the Town Centre, we are looking forward to welcoming the whole family to Kirkby for this special weekend.”

Throughout the day families will also be able to enjoy free face painting, kids magic and puppet shows as well as performances from a whole host of family entertainers.

Visitors to Kirkby Town Centre can also join in the seasonal fun by taking part in the Town Centre Easter egg hunt that has been organised in partnership with Kirkby Market.

From Monday 10 to Friday 15 April, local shops and Kirkby market traders will display images of Easter eggs in their windows. To hunt the eggs, customers can download an entry form from the Town Centre Facebook page or enquire at the Markets management office. There will be prizes for the winners.

Mike added: “Everyone’s a winner in our ‘egg-citing’ competition! For each correct entry, a small egg will be awarded and on Saturday 15 April a final winner will be selected during a prize draw to win a very special Easter egg.”

For more information about the Easter events please visit www.kirkbytowncentre.com or visit the Kirkby Town Centre Facebook page.

22 Feb 2017 - Coffee giant Costa commits to Kirkby Town Centre

Regeneration specialist St. Modwen has signed-up Costa Coffee to Kirkby Town Centre.

High street favourite Costa Coffee is opening its first branch in Kirkby on St. Chad’s Parade, creating jobs for local people, including barista staff who have been trained in the art of coffee making.

The 2,700 sq ft coffee shop is set to open its doors to the public in March. Visitors to Kirkby Town Centre will be able to enjoy a cup of coffee, choose from a selection of speciality drinks or select a delicious treat from the food menu.

The Kirkby Town Centre branch will have an indoor and outdoor seated area where shoppers can meet and watch the world go by. It will also have an express counter for people to grab a coffee whilst on the go.

A planning application for the popular coffee shop has been submitted to Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The commitment of Costa Coffee is just one of many new leases Town Centre owner St. Modwen has brought to Kirkby since its acquisition in late 2015. The coffee specialist further boosts the offer for local shoppers.

Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews said: “St. Modwen is delighted to welcome Costa Coffee to Kirkby Town Centre. We are confident that Costa will complement the diverse range of local retailers we have in the Town Centre; demonstrating our commitment to not only securing national brands but also looking after local businesses; which we know are of vital importance to the success of our Town Centre.

“With footfall figures continuing to increase week on week to around 127,000 to 130,000 per week, there is a clear indication that shoppers are liking the increased choice available.

“The Christmas events programme also proved to be a big hit with shoppers, with more than 6,000 people turning out to see the Christmas lights being switched on.”

St. Modwen acquired Kirkby Town Centre in November 2015 and the team has been working closely with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council to develop plans for the Town Centre.

6 Feb 2017 - St. Modwen submits planning application for Kirkby Town Centre

Regeneration specialist St. Modwen has submitted a planning application to Knowsley Council for the retail phase of the redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre.

The application follows collaboration with Knowsley Council to develop plans for the Town Centre and a major public consultation which was held with local businesses, shopkeepers and residents in October. Representatives from St. Modwen, the architect and planning consultants working on the scheme shared the proposal and asked people for their comments.

Feedback from the public consultation was positive with more than 500 people attending the two-day event held in St Chad’s Parade. Of the 229 responses received 95% (218) of residents and stakeholders supported the plans.

The planning application is for a 116,000 sq ft scheme that will comprise of a supermarket, around 76,000 sq ft of new shops, improved pedestrian links, car parking, new public realm and landscaping.  The redevelopment will complement, enhance and integrate with the existing Town Centre shops and facilities.

Paul Batho, Projects Director, St Modwen – North, said: “Our plans for Kirkby Town Centre incorporate the feedback we received during the public consultation and will provide Kirkby with a real boost.

“The scheme will provide a new supermarket and will widen the range of shops that will meet the shopping needs of the people of Kirkby and the surrounding area. The development proposal will boost the local economy, creating new jobs during and post construction, as well as bringing more shoppers and other local businesses to the town.”

The scheme has already seen significant interest from a number of national retailers and St. Modwen is in advanced talks with food store operators who will trade at the anchor food store.

Since purchasing the Town Centre in November 2015, St. Modwen has carried out significant work to Kirkby. These improvements have been well received and have given confidence in the delivery of the proposed scheme, should consent be granted.

Subject to the determination of the planning application, work could commence later this year with completion scheduled for next year.

20 Jan 2017 - Call for Kirkby residents to continue supporting town centre

Kirkby residents are being encouraged to continue supporting their town centre this year after recent months saw thousands of shoppers head to the district.

New events and attractions are said to have proven a hit with visitors to the area, which is the subject of plans for regeneration.

According to new figures, footfall in November and December was greater than the previous months in 2016 as thousands of shoppers enjoyed festivities including X Factor’s Reggie ‘n’ Bollie turning on the Christmas tree lights.

The average of 132,000 shoppers per week during the past two months of 2016 also followed a series of summer family events which have been hailed a success, and a 70% increase in ‘likes’ to the Kirkby town centre Facebook page over Christmas after it had initially been launched last April.

Mike Matthew, manager of Kirkby town centre, says: “Following a series of popular family themed events that took place earlier in the summer it was brilliant to see thousands of people in the town centre enjoying the festive celebrations and shopping.

“It has also been fantastic for our traders who are reporting an increase in business. We hope local people continue to support their town centre throughout 2017.”

St. Modwen, which owns and manages Kirkby town centre, has previously consulted on its plans to regenerate the retail and leisure district and has also announced a Reel Cinemas branch will form part of the project.

22 Nov 2016 - Reel Cinemas to anchor Kirkby Leisure scheme

Reel Cinemas to anchor Kirkby Leisure schemeSt. Modwen has agreed a deal with Reel Cinemas to operate the 15,000sq ft, six screen Cinema proposed as part of the redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre.

Operating 15 units nationally Reel Cinemas is one of the largest independent cinema operators across the UK.

The leisure scheme proposed will replace the former library on Newtown Gardens and will feature three restaurant units currently being marketed by joint retail agents Colliers and Cheetham & Mortimer.

Paul Batho, Projects Director - St. Modwen, said: “Securing Reel Cinemas is positive news for the future of Kirkby Town Centre. Recent feedback from local people tells us that the current leisure offer is seriously lacking across the Town. There is a huge opportunity to develop this in line with responses received and we are confident our proposed plans will make a significant difference in transforming the town.

“We’re currently in talks with several national operators regarding the restaurant units and hope to make further announcements soon.”

Chris Morgan Giles, Property Director of Reel Cinemas said: “We’re delighted to be working with St. Modwen and are excited about the plans for Kirkby Town Centre. Proposals have been well received and will undoubtedly help increase the leisure offer in Kirkby.

“We’re continuing to expand our operations with plans to grow the brand significantly over the next five years. This is a great scheme to be involved with and we’re looking forward to moving forward with the cinema.”

St. Modwen received resounding support from the residents of Kirkby as the regeneration specialists consulted on plans for the redevelopment of the Town Centre.

More than 500 people attended a two-day consultation event last month held at St Chad’s Parade and 196 comments of support were received from residents.

Since purchasing the Town Centre last year, St. Modwen has carried out significant work. These improvements have been well received  and has given confidence in the delivery of the proposed scheme, should consent be granted.

A resident of Lydbury Crescent said: “I’m looking forward to the continued investment in the Town Centre.”

Another resident from Kirkby Road in Westvale said: ‘leisure and nightlife facilities will boost the economy and are exactly what Kirkby needs.’

Will Martin, Planning Manager for St. Modwen, said: “We would like to thank all those who attended the consultation event. We’re really pleased with the positive feedback received. Our next steps are to assess the feedback and continue to work on elements of the design for the north of the town so we are ready to submit a detailed planning application later this year with the leisure scheme to follow in the New Year.”

St. Modwen acquired Kirkby Town Centre in November 2015 and the team has been working closely with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council to develop plans for the Town Centre since then.

A scheme has been designed which will comprise of a supermarket, and in the region of 100,000 sq ft of new retail floorspace. The proposed plan has already seen significant interest from a number of national retailers and St. Modwen is in advanced talks with major food retailers to anchor the new scheme.

23 Oct 2016 - Kirkby Town Centre Christmas lights switch on 2016 date confirmed

NewsChristmas is coming to Kirkby Town Centre!

St. Modwen has confirmed the date for Kirkby’s Christmas lights switch-on, the first official festive event in the town for a number of years.

X Factor finalists Reggie ‘n’ Bollie will flick the switch on the night, triggering a month of celebrations in Kirkby Town Centre.

The music duo will be joined by boy band District 12, pop act S Club Party and girl group Tiger S for the big celebration on Thursday, November 24.

Leading UK regeneration specialist St. Modwen, who own and manage Kirkby Town Centre, are organising the Christmas lights switch-on.

Mike Matthews, Kirkby Town Centre Manager, said: “Kirkby hasn’t had a Christmas event of this scale for a number of years. We’re bringing some early festive cheer to the Town Centre and the occasion will be a brilliant way for the entire community of Kirkby to come together in a heart-warming, family event and to enjoy the Christmas celebrations.”

He added: “As well as getting the community together, the Christmas period will also bring tremendous economic benefit to Kirkby’s businesses.

“Christmas is the golden quarter of the business year. It’s an extremely important time for our tenants as they receive up to 75% of their annual turnover.”

St. Modwen has confirmed the upcoming event will not only be a celebration of the Christmas period, but confirmation of the promise made 12 months ago to give the people of Kirkby the Town Centre they deserve.

Late night shopping will also get underway in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The festive celebrations follow a season of successful summer events that were enjoyed by hundreds of people in the town centre.

Members of the community are also being sought to take part in carol singing around the 9 metre Christmas tree once the lights have been switched on.

Running times for the event on the 24 November will be announced in early November.

21 Oct 2016 - St. Modwen unveils its plans for Kirkby Town Centre

Regeneration specialist St. Modwen has set out its plans for the future of Kirkby in a public exhibition this week – bringing the redevelopment of the Town Centre a step closer.

The development plans pave the way for a wider more significant change. The proposal will see the strengthening of the existing Town Centre, a new supermarket, additional shops, car parking and a new leisure development.

The proposal would also boost the local economy, create new jobs, as well as bringing more shoppers and businesses to Kirkby – transforming it into a destination local people can enjoy.

To achieve this, St. Modwen plans to:

  • Carry out improvements that will complement and enhance Kirkby Town Centre
  • Increase the choice and type of shops for local people
  • Provide accommodation that meets the needs and requirements of modern retailers, making Kirkby an attractive place to do business
  • Ensure that any new development is fully integrated into the existing Town Centre, with improved pedestrian links, so that the whole area benefits from any new development
  • Improved leisure amenities which would include restaurants and a cinema on the site of the old Kirkby Library
  • Create pockets of landscaping and green spaces, including a new area of public realm
  • Provide a temporary car park to the south of Cherryfield Drive to serve existing shops and local amenities, while the retail development is under construction.

The outline scheme has already seen significant interest from a number of national retailers and St. Modwen is in advanced talks with food retailers. Until these talks are complete and legal contracts exchanged St. Modwen is not in a position to announce the name of the supermarket.

Members of the project team will be available at the public exhibition to provide more details about the scheme and answer questions local people may have. There will also be opportunity for locals to offer feedback before the plans are developed further and a planning application is submitted to Knowsley Council for consideration.

Following St. Modwen’s £35.8m acquisition in November 2015 the team has been working closely with the local authority to develop plans for the Town Centre. A development agreement was signed earlier in the year, which set out St. Modwen’s ambitions for Kirkby.

Steven Knowles, North West Regional Director for St. Modwen, said: “Our plans for Kirkby provide us with an opportunity to develop a Town Centre that the people of Kirkby deserve and have been waiting a long time for.

“We strongly believe that our proposal will strengthen and enhance the existing Town Centre, increase the offer for shoppers by bringing new shops to Kirkby and create jobs for local people. We also have the potential to include a cinema and restaurants for local people to enjoy. We are looking forward to announcing the name of the supermarket operator soon.

“The public exhibition is a really important part of our community engagement on the scheme, it provides an opportunity for people to come and view the plans, find out more information and give us your feedback. We will then consider the feedback before the proposals are finalised and submitted to Knowsley Council.

“St. Modwen has made a long term commitment to Kirkby and since we acquired the Town Centre we have made it our priority to drive through immediate improvements. Working alongside Knowsley Council, we now have the opportunity to make more of a significant change.”

In the last 12 months St. Modwen has appointed a new Town Centre Manager, installed new planters and hanging baskets, increased the choice for shoppers, welcomed new while retaining existing stores, introduced new litter and recycling facilities, introduced three hours free parking, carried out a town centre improvement programme and introduced free Wi-fi.

These improvements also follow a fun-filled summer of weekend events for the whole family to enjoy. The summer activities were a real hit with shoppers and saw footfall at its peak reach 138,500.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Mike Murphy, said: “I’m delighted that St. Modwen has brought forward these plans for Kirkby Town Centre as they bring our long-awaited retail and leisure developments another step closer.

“The council and our partners have already completed a huge number of significant developments in Kirkby in recent years – the Kirkby Centre, Kirkby Leisure Centre, the new Kirkby Market, St Chad’s Public Health Centre, new housing, public art and improvements to the public realm in the town centre have all had a very positive impact on the town – for the benefit of Kirkby residents and businesses. Like all Kirkby residents, I now look forward to seeing the delivery of our new supermarket, shops, cinema and restaurant to confirm that Kirkby is a place on the up.”

Mike Matthews, Kirkby Town Centre Manager – St. Modwen, added: “St. Modwen has an excellent reputation for managing successful Town Centre schemes and retail led developments. We have a real opportunity here to put Kirkby Town Centre back on the map. We are excited to share our redevelopment plans with the community.”

The public exhibition will take place on Friday 21 October, 10am to 3pm and Saturday 22 October, 9.30am to 1pm at 17 St Chad’s Parade, Kirkby Town Centre.

If you are unable to attend the exhibition, please visit: www.kirkbytowncentre.com where you can view the plans and submit your feedback. If you would like any more information or you have any queries, please contact: Kirkby@stmodwen.co.uk.

7 June 2016 - Refurbishment work gets underway at Kirkby Town Centre

Improvements to Kirkby Town Centre are now underway, as owners St. Modwen begin an eight-week refurbishment programme and announce a number of new lettings.

The works, which will improve the appearance of the shopping precinct, includes replacing worn out plaster work under shop canopies, painting the windows at first floor level, removing old and unused fixtures, painting columns and brickwork and adding a touch of greenery.

The Town Centre also welcomes three new tenants – Owens Quality Meat, Kirkby Nails and European Deli who have all opened up in recent weeks on St. Chad’s Parade.

Town Centre Manager Mike Matthews is pleased to announce that Greggs Bakery has confirmed a new five-year lease, reinforcing its commitment to Kirkby after completing a £100,000 refit.

B&M Bargains will soon be opening a second store in the former Co-Op unit on St. Chad’s Parade, increasing the size of the home discount offer.

Mike Matthews said: “We are delighted to welcome new and existing tenants to Kirkby Town Centre. Once the leases have been granted we hope to see new lettings fill the vacant units, bring a wider choice for shoppers and, in many cases, enable local businesses to grow and relocate to bigger premises.

“Shoppers really welcome the changes we are making and are voting with their feet as footfall figures top 125,000 people visiting Kirkby Town Centre each week.

“The Town Centre is really popular with local people and we look forward to further developing the area, but equally important is improving the existing facility.”

In June, the Town Centre will be coming out in bloom as colourful hanging basket adorn shop fronts and the planters along St. Chad’s Parade are replaced and replenished. Local businesses are invited to sponsor a hanging basket.

In addition, a programme of fun filled family events are also planned for the school summer holidays – full details can be found on the Town Centres recently launched website www.kirkbytowncentre.com.

Mike added: “We have a very exciting summer ahead in Kirkby. The current work that is underway is just the start of St. Modwen’s plans for Kirkby Town Centre. We have made a long-term commitment to the people of Kirkby and we will continue to keep you up to date on our plans.”

St. Modwen acquired Kirkby Town Centre in November 2015 and the team has been working closely with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council to develop plans for the Town Centre.

An outline scheme has been designed which will comprise of a supermarket, and in the region of 100,000 sq ft of new retail floorspace. The proposed plan has already seen significant interest from a number of national retailers and St. Modwen is in advanced talks with major food retailers to anchor the new scheme.

17 May 2016 - Kirkby Town Centre supports Give and Gain initiative

St. Modwen is supporting Business in the Community’s Give & Gain Day with a full day of volunteering activity at Kirkby Town Centre.

Now in its seventh year, Business in the Community's Give & Gain Day is the UK’s only national day of employee volunteering and will see thousands of people from hundreds of companies volunteering on Friday 20 May.

Kirkby Town Centre manager Mike Matthews will lead a day of activity which will include; a litter pick, a recycling class with St. Modwen, an artwork project with Centre63 as well as a next steps session with Northwood Forest Garden. The chefs from Can Cook will also be on hand to provide a healthy lunch for all involved.

Mike Matthews said: “Give & Gain is a brilliant initiative championing the talent and energy found in business and the role it can play in helping communities, their ambition is to make a difference in the communities where we live and work. The initiative reflects the St. Modwen approach, as the leading regeneration specialist, to revitalise the Town Centre and help create a place that people can be proud of. We’re therefore delighted to give our support, have got lots planned and hope the community really get involved to make the day a success.”

You can view our Give and Gain comic by clicking here.

24 Mar 2016 - St. Modwen signs agreement to launch Kirkby Town Centre Regeneration

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has signed an agreement with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council which sets out a joint commitment to begin the development of Kirkby Town Centre.

Following St. Modwen’s £35.8m acquisition in November 2015 the team has been working closely with the local authority to develop plans for the Town Centre. An outline scheme has been designed which will comprise of a supermarket, and in the region of 100,000 sq ft of new retail floorspace. The outline scheme (shown below) has already seen significant interest from a number of national retailers and St. Modwen is in advanced talks with major food retailers to anchor the new scheme.

Commenting on the latest developments St. Modwen’s Projects Director, Paul Batho, said: “From the minute we acquired Kirkby Town Centre we have made it our priority to drive forward immediate improvements and this agreement with Knowsley Council now paves the way for wider, more significant change in the centre.  Our plans will see the strengthening of the existing Town Centre and the provision of new accommodation to be developed to accommodate the requirements of modern retailers. We have received very strong interest from both retailers and leisure operators, so much so we hope to also be able to introduce a leisure offer to the town which would be anchored by a cinema.

“We will be undertaking public consultation on our plans in the next few months and we are on track to submit a formal planning application later this year.”

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Mike Murphy, said: "I’m delighted that we are making real progress towards the redevelopment of Kirkby Town Centre.
“The council and our partners have delivered major multi-million pound improvements to the town centre and wider Kirkby area in recent years. I’m now very much looking forward to working with St. Modwen to bring forward the much-needed retail and leisure developments which will transform the Town Centre for the benefit of our residents, businesses and visitors.”

Within weeks of the acquisition St. Modwen appointed Mike Matthews as the Shopping Centre Manager to take responsibility for managing the day-to-day running of the Town Centre. In March, the re-instatement of three hours free parking proved a hit with shoppers and retailers alike.

A further appointment of a maintenance operative in February has seen immediate improvements to vacant units to make them more appealing to potential occupiers, the installation of new litter bins, new recycling facilities and the replacement of old planters with fresh new ones for Spring.

Commenting on the progress to date Mike Matthews said: “The people of Kirkby need and deserve to see improvements made to the Town Centre as quickly as possible and it has been our priority to make a change from day one.

“St. Modwen has made a significant long-term commitment to this town and of course it will take time to deliver the bigger overall development plans of which this agreement signifies the start. In the meantime, we are going to make as many changes as possible to improve the experience for shoppers, the business opportunities for retailers and to ensure that Kirkby has a town centre it can be proud of once again.”

The Town Centre team is also in the process of installing a new electronic footfall counting system which will provide valuable information from which to benchmark future performance. Weekly performance data from a number of tenants is being collated so that the team can monitor the town centre’s overall performance.

 

14 Oct 2015 - St. Modwen to acquire Kirkby Town Centre for £35.8M

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has exchanged contracts to acquire Kirkby Town Centre from Tesco for £35.8m, reflecting a net initial yield of 9% on the main Shopping Centre.

This transaction will now lead to a multi-million pound retail-led regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre which will be spearheaded by St. Modwen and carried out in partnership with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council. Together, they will work on plans to develop and expand the retail centre and complement the existing offer, as well as the provision of a significant new housing scheme on a 65 acre site situated close to the Town Centre.

Kirkby Town Centre currently comprises 400,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space which is leased to 80 tenants including New Look and Home Bargains.

St. Modwen’s in house asset team will take over the management of the Centre in order to let vacant space and increase footfall. The acquisition builds on the developer’s existing retail expertise in the North West, which includes the successful Wythenshawe Town Centre scheme.

The acquisition will also enable St. Modwen to continue its extensive development programme in Merseyside, with current projects including the Project Jennifer regeneration scheme at Great Homer Street in Liverpool, Skelmersdale Town Centre and Stonebridge Park Knowsley, which includes the new 69,000 sq ft depot building for DPD GeoPost.

Steven Knowles, Regional Director of St. Modwen, said: “Our investment in Kirkby Town Centre will bring about vital regeneration to revive the Town Centre and with the provision of a large new housing scheme will contribute to the Council’s commitment to provide 450 homes per year for the next 15 years.

“St. Modwen continues to make strategic acquisitions and add value through our income producing assets in the region, which in turn supports future employment opportunities in Merseyside. With the upturn in commercial development, the site is a good fit with our existing North West portfolio.”

The Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Andy Moorhead, said: “I’m delighted to welcome St. Modwen on board to deliver a major regeneration programme for Kirkby.

“St. Modwen is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist with a proven track record of delivering innovative and successful schemes across the country.

“Knowsley Council and our partners have already delivered major improvements to the town centre in recent years, investing £26m in the new Kirkby Centre, a new Kirkby Market, the St. Chad’s Health Centre, public realm improvements and new housing.

“We have also seen the wider Kirkby area benefit from investment of £96m in key local facilities, such as new schools, leisure facilities and green spaces.

“We were very disappointed that our previous private sector partner was not able to bring forward the retail offer which the residents of Kirkby deserve. We have been working hard to secure a replacement developer who is keen to invest in the town and we look forward to working with St. Modwen on their plans to complete the regeneration of Kirkby town centre and greatly enhance the retail offer for the benefit of our residents and businesses.”

Colliers International acted for St. Modwen.

13 Jan 2016 - St. Modwen appoints Shopping Centre Manager for Kirkby following acquisition

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has appointed a new Shopping Centre Manager in Kirkby following its acquisition in November 2015.

Mike Matthews will be responsible for managing the day-to-day running of Kirkby Town Centre, which boasts 400,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space currently leased to 80 tenants, including New Look and Home Bargains.

Mr Matthews will also be responsible for securing new lettings, increasing footfall alongside the St. Modwen team, and driving forward the regeneration of the Town Centre, which will be spearheaded by St. Modwen and carried out in partnership with Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

He said: “St. Modwen has an excellent reputation for managing successful Town Centre schemes and retail-led developments so I am thrilled to be joining the team and am looking forward to meeting old and new customers over the coming months. There is a real opportunity to put Kirkby Town Centre back on the map and we are excited to share our redevelopment plans with the community in due course.”

Steven Knowles, Regional Director at St. Modwen in the North West, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mike to our team at Kirkby Town Centre. He brings with him years of experience and knowledge, which will be invaluable as we continue to transform the Town Centre. Mike will play a pivotal role in engaging with the local community and breathing new life into the Town Centre.”

St. Modwen will shortly commence a programme of refurbishment works to some of the existing vacant shops which will make them more appealing to potential businesses.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Mike Murphy, said: "We’re pleased to welcome Mike to Kirkby and look forward to working closely with him as St. Modwen bring forward exciting new plans for the town centre.

“Knowsley Council and our partners have already invested more than £26m in Kirkby town centre in recent years and we are now working alongside St. Modwen to complete the retail-led regeneration.”

Prior to his appointment at Kirkby Town Centre, Mr Matthews was Centre Manager at Wigan Town Centre, working alongside the local authority. In this role, Mr Matthews managed the day to day running of the Town Centre and secured multiple awards for the town, including ‘Cleanest Town in the North West’ and ‘North West In Bloom’ for 10 years in a row