Construction work is now well under way on one of the key elements of the £200m programme to regenerate Kirkby.
Contractors are on site at St Kevin’s Drive to build 71 new homes for Plus Dane Group and Cherryfield Co-operative residents who currently live on Cherryfield Drive.
Once the St Kevin’s Drive development has been completed, the residents’ former homes on Cherryfield Drive will be demolished. This will allow construction work to start on the new Tesco store and retail units in Kirkby Town Centre.
Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economy and Skills, Cllr Dave Lonergan, said: “It is fantastic to see construction work under way on St Kevin’s Drive and I’m really pleased that residents can now look forward to being in their new homes.
“The council and our partners have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to drive the regeneration programme forward despite the ongoing national economic difficulties, and I’m delighted that residents can now see visible signs of the great progress we are making in Kirkby.”
“It is great news for residents that we are about to take such a significant step forward. This is a key milestone in the delivery of the new town centre for Kirkby.”
Louise Davies, Director (Programme & Partnerships) at Plus Dane Group, said:
“We are really excited to be part of the regeneration of Kirkby. This development is a fantastic opportunity to provide brand new homes that will better meet the needs of local residents.
“We have been working with residents to develop a scheme that offers a mix of homes that will offer more choice. We can’t wait to take handover of the first properties in 2014.”
Steve Parrington, Area Director at Keepmoat, said: “The mixture of two, three and four bed houses and bungalows will greatly contribute to the wider regeneration of Kirkby, opening doors to better facilities and shops in the town centre. We are very proud to be part of a project which is going to leave a lasting legacy for many years to come in Kirkby.”
Meanwhile, work is also under way on the site of the new Kirkby Market.
Knowsley Council is investing £2.5m in the new, modern undercover facility, which will replace the old market which had stood since 1960.
While traders continue to operate from a temporary market next door, diggers have started work on site to build the new market, which is due to open later this summer.
Cllr Lonergan said: “The new Kirkby Market will be a fantastic asset to the town centre and I know traders and shoppers alike will be delighted when it is completed. While the construction work is carried out, I want to remind residents that it is business as usual at the temporary market, right next to the old site.”
Martyn Davies, Chair of the Traders’ Committee, said: “The traders are really looking forward to seeing the new market open this year. We have worked closely with the council throughout the process and it is great to see the construction work in full swing. In the meantime, traders are continuing to operate from the temporary market next door.”
The wider regeneration of the town centre has already seen the new St Chad’s Health Centre open its doors, and some derelict buildings in the area demolished. In addition, redevelopment work continues at the Kirkby Centre, where Knowsley Council is investing £5m to bring a range of public services together in one modern facility, and plans are also being drawn up to refurbish the public spaces across the town centre.
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