Building starts on business hubs

L-R: Andrew Beattie, project manager at Northern Trust; Bob Hepworth, director of urban regeneration at St Helens Council, Northern Trust director Mike Grindrod; Cllr Andy Bowden; and a representative from the European Regional Development Fund.
L-R: Andrew Beattie, project manager at Northern Trust; Bob Hepworth, director of urban regeneration at St Helens Council, Northern Trust director Mike Grindrod; Cllr Andy Bowden; and a representative from the European Regional Development Fund.
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A TURF-cutting ceremony marked the start of work on a new £7.5m development near St Helens town centre.

Northern Trust started work last week on three new business hubs after the firm bought the Gerards Park brownfield site - on College Street - from St Helens Council.

Once complete, the blocks will comprise of 21 units, ranging in size from 535 sq ft to 3,779 sq ft. All of the units - aimed at small and medium enterprise businesses - will include fully-fitted offices.

Coun Andy Bowden, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration and housing, said: “This is a key site en route into the town centre. The development brings this derelict site back into use and will be a very welcome addition to our business offer.”

Funding for the project was secured from the European Regional Development Fund.

Sir Howard Bernstein, vice chair of the fund’s North West management committee, said: “By providing state of the art work spaces in St Helens, this project will safeguard and create jobs in the area. Local people, businesses and the local economy will all benefit as local enterprises are given a competitive boost and other firms are attracted to St Helens.”

Northern Trust’s development director, Mike Grindrod, added: “Despite the current difficult economic climate, the board of Northern Trust has taken the decision to commence the first phase of this £7.5m development. This shows our confidence in the product we offer and will bring forward further investment in the region.”