Project: Topographical Survey of Earlestown Centre Masterplan
Location: Earlestown, Merseyside
Client: Jon Matthews Architects
Principal contractor: Muse Developments, St Helens Borough Council and English Cities Fund
Powers’ involvement: Topographical survey
Project completion: January 2022
About the project
Earlestown is known for being a traditional market town, in the North West. Over the years, the high street has become rundown but still full of promise. The town centre still works on the traditional opening times of 9 am to 5 pm and has struggled to compete with the later opening times, in places like St Helens, Warrington and Liverpool. With this much-needed regeneration, the high street will be able to attract more local business. The proposed zones include:
- Market Square will be the centre of the whole redevelopment, as it’s considered the heart of the town. It’ll benefit from beautiful new lawn areas and floral accents.
- Queen Street and Market Street junction, enhancing pedestrian and cycle routes between the train station and the high street.
Each of these zones is considered a key gateway for the town, with the Market Square being the crucial element to bring the whole plan together.
Phase one of the masterplan is to enhance the market square, create a flexible event space, and improve the landscape. There are also plans to improve the public realm to make the town centre more pedestrian-friendly.
The 20-year partnership between St Helens Council and ECF will bring many regeneration benefits. The regeneration will enable Earlestown to:
- Be sustainable as it works towards St Helens Council’s pledge to meet zero carbon status by 2040
- Provide enhanced green space
- Attract a higher volume of visitors, driving economic growth
- Celebrate the unique culture and heritage sites (including the market)
If you’d like to know more about the Masterplan, you can visit the Earlestown regeneration website.
Powers was appointed by Jon Matthews Architects to undertake a topographical survey on Earlestown town centre. The topographical survey provided precise spatial data which was essential to developing the masterplan for Earlestown.
Earlestown town centre has an active market, which could have slowed down the surveyors, as the team worked around pedestrians, cars, and moving objects. However, smooth, rapid data capture was enabled because of the planning that goes into each project before the fieldwork commences.
Our survey team enjoy large, complex topographical surveys, that require a lot of thought in their planning and execution. This was one such survey which required a lot of data to be captured. The team always thoroughly research a site before work commences, by walking the site with the client, looking at satellite images or street views of the area and reading through the client specification and liaising with them to ensure it’s been interpreted correctly. This helps ensure that all data required for the masterplan will be captured. This research also allows the team to set internal deadlines for work to be completed. Having internal deadlines ensures all drawings are passed on to the client well within the agreed timeline.
The Masterplan was given the go-ahead in January 2022, allowing for the regeneration of the town. Some of the development opportunities include a new police station, creating new transport links and the construction of new homes. All these amenities will bring people into the town centre outside of retail or office hours and create the right environment for bars and restaurants to thrive. The new designs will enhance the public realm and infrastructure within Earlestown.
Bringing Earlestown back to its former glory as a thriving market town will improve the economic outlook of this municipality, which will be supported by local people and businesses. This will allow Earlestown and St Helens to complement each other by building upon each town centre’s existing unique assets to become vibrant and exciting places for the future.
The positive transformation of the town centre will ensure it brings with it high quality, sustainable amenities for Earlestown’s residents. The regeneration will support the town centre’s economy, supporting local people and businesses by attracting trade from all over the North West. It will become a place for people to shop and eat, rivalling destinations such as Warrington and Liverpool.
Sam Ainsley, Jon Matthews Architects – “It’s an exciting time for Earlestown and St Helens and being part of this journey is a privilege. The proposals for Earlestown town centre will include a rejuvenated market square, and a better-quality public realm with the possibility of a new transport interchange to provide excellent links to Liverpool and Manchester. Powers provided us with vital spatial data, which has allowed us to craft these plans, creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attain significant change and entice new investment into the market town.”