Levelling Up Funding bids for Huyton, Prescot and Halewood

Knowsley Council submitted three bids to the Government’s Round 2 Levelling Up Fund on 2 August, 2022.

Bids have been submitted to support the development of Huyton Village Centre, strengthening Prescot’s strong heritage and cultural offer through the development of the Picture Palace (a joint bid with St Helens Council which also includes the development of the Gamble building) and expanding Halewood’s retail and leisure offer to support the growing population.

The Government has classified Knowsley as a Priority 1 area meaning it has the greatest need, but despite this, it was unsuccessful with it’s Round 1 funding bid for Huyton, despite feedback being received that the bid was strong. The Council has strengthened it’s Round 1 bid and has submitted a Round 2 bid.

A decision is expected around the Round 2 allocations in October 2022.

Huyton Village Centre

The Council has an ambitious 10 year development plan for Huyton Village Centre and work is already well underway on delivering that plan. To date, 14 shop fronts have benefitted from contemporary makeovers which has helped to attracted new businesses into the Village Centre over the last three years – specifically 8 new food and drink outlets and more recently a menswear store. In addition, lighting has been installed on the Archway Road bridge to create a vibrant welcome into the Village Centre. Further lighting projects are planned to illuminate St Michael Church. Two outdated buildings on prime sites in the Village Centre have been demolished and are primed for development.

The £20m Levelling Up funding would help the Council to accelerate the plans for the Village Centre which includes the delivery of a new mixed-used commercial district with opportunities for a hotel, office space, co-working centre, and residential accommodation. It will be set around an attractive new Village Green which will connect improved public spaces, an improved station gateway area and high quality event spaces on Derby Road. These investment opportunities will be supported by excellent transport access by road, bus, and rail, and will be a catalyst for further development in the Village Centre.  The proposed development could bring up to 1,700 new jobs and a £50m per year spending boost to the local economy.



Prescot Town Centre falls within the St Helens South and Whiston Parliamentary Constituency. Where a Constituency area crosses local authority boundaries, each local authority can choose to submit a joint or individual bid for the area. Due to the historic and cultural links with St Helens, a joint bid is being submitted. The bid will focus on Prescot Picture Palace and the Gamble building in St Helens.

The Council has ambitious plans to drive further investment in Prescot Town Centre and deliver the Prescot Town Centre Masterplan, further improving the lives of local residents and strengthening the town’s developing position as a key visitor attraction in the Liverpool City Region, particularly as the iconic Shakespeare North Playhouse opened its doors in Prescot on 15 July.

The Levelling Up Fund bid will focus on supporting the Prescot Picture Palace (a Grade II listed building) and the public realm to support the cultural and leisure offer around this area creating strong links to the Shakespeare North Playhouse and maximising the benefits from this new visitor attraction.



Halewood is currently undergoing major growth with over 1,300 new homes being constructed in the East of Halewood. The Council’s bid for Halewood includes significant improvements to and expansion of the local district centre, greenspace and leisure facilities, as well as improved walking and cycling connectivity throughout the town and employment areas. This will support the existing and new residents and will provide a retail and leisure offer to meet demand. The improvements will address significant health inequalities, tackle the Climate Emergency and address access issues to employment.