UK-based builder Vinci Building has been chosen as the lead contractor to develop the first phase of the St Helens town centre transformation project.

The selection has been carried out via the North West Construction Hub-governed procurement process.

The 24 acres of St Helens town centre will be a mixed-use development comprising a 120-bed hotel, 64 new houses, and an 11,000ft² retail and public area.

Initial works will include the replacement of the old bus station with a new multimodal interchange, as well as active travel enhancements throughout the town centre.

With substantial investment, the plan has secured hybrid clearance and will begin construction in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

St Helens Borough Council and the English Cities Fund have secured £90.69m ($111.36m) for this transformation project.

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This project is expected to have a substantial social impact and benefit the council’s newly approved Inclusive Growth Strategy.

Once fully operational, phase one is estimated to create approximately 485 new jobs and generate £23.2m gross value added annually in the area.

VINCI will leverage its expertise in logistics management and work phasing to reduce the impact on town businesses and tourists throughout the construction period.

St Helens borough council leader David Baines said: “We are delighted to have reached this important milestone and to have taken yet another step closer to work starting on site.

“VINCI Building has been given the responsibility of delivering a high-quality and highly sustainable first phase development that, during the build programme, will benefit the people of St Helens through a wide range of social value measures.”