St Helens Council has announced a £500,000 regeneration fund to boost the borough’s economic growth.
The money, approved by the local authority’s cabinet, will be used for specialist technical advice and help the town hall and its partner organisations respond to new opportunities.
The fund will support a masterplan which will be prepared on the future of the town centre following the publication of a commission report recommending improvements.
Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “This fund will give us the flexibility to respond to economic opportunities as they emerge.
“Over the last years various funding streams have been secured.
“It’s essential we ensure we have the technical expertise to get our share.”
Chief executive Mike Palin also hailed the success of regional growth deal funds in helping businesses across Merseyside.
Mr Palin said: “We want to ensure that St Helens benefits from this funding and at the same time there is no duplication.
“This is essential given the budget pressures we face in the years ahead.
“The Cabinet approval is important in providing the specialist technical capability to access these other funds when we do not have that capability in-house.
“We need to look ahead to what the role of the town centre is in the long-term - and ensure that we design a way forward that delivers sustainability.
“Retail markets are quite obviously changing but I fully believe St Helens has a positive future as long as we recognise changes and respond.”