Works commence on the former Ina Shaw development in St Helens !

Full details about Works commence on the former Ina Shaw development in St Helens

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The scaffolding is in Ina Shaw’s former shop where work has begun on a site development project.

What are Ina Shaw’s previous plans?

Plans to convert the former Ina Shaw store into mixed-use retail units, a café and flexible workspaces were given formal permission last November by the council.

Proposals were submitted earlier this year by businessman Stephen Palfrey to St Helens Council’s planning department for the vacant unit on Duke Street and for the building and car park along Volunteer Street.

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A design and access statement in the plans said: “The proposed development will provide first class workspaces in St Helens and repurpose a major building on one of the city’s arterial roads.

“This change of use of the building will meet the growing demand for flexible workspaces and the combination of that and the café will add something that is currently lacking in this area.”

St Helens Star: CGI showing what loneliness might look like on Duke StreetCGI what the unit might look like on Duke Street (Image: St Helens Council planning portal)

Added works will include a reconfiguration of the interior layout with the construction of a kitchen, new customer toilets, a café, retail, storage and office space on the ground floor.

Business suites will also be constructed with glass fronted entrances on the upper floors.

There will also be a link created from the adjoining car park to a fenced in area which includes a new landscaped entrance to the flexible workspaces upstairs.

“Something unique to St Helens”

The application said the development would “significantly enhance the building’s appearance and presence on Volunteer Street” and “create a more flexible interior design to accommodate a variety of uses from retail, food and beverage and flexible workspaces”.

She added that the conversion of the unit would “enhance its attractiveness for securing its long-term future to contribute to the economy of St Helens”.

The plans added: “The final solution will greatly improve the visitor’s sense of access to Volunteer Street as well as giving a positive vibe to the entire area.

“It will strengthen and enhance the building’s ability to have a sustainable long-term future.”

St Helens Star: CGI for Volunteer Street DevelopmentCGI to develop Volunteer Street (Image: St Helens Council planning portal)

It concluded: “This development creates something unique for St Helens as it capitalizes on the growing trend of first class flexible workspaces.

It will repurpose a major building on a major arterial road after it was left derelict since the closing of the Ina Show in early 2020.

“Not only will the ongoing investment enhance the area, especially around Volunteer Street, but it will contribute to an increased footfall to the city center – thus complementing efforts made with the city center regeneration programme.”

When did Ina Shaw close?

St Helens Star: former Ina Shaw unitThe former Inna Shaw unit (Photo: St Helens Star)

The Ena Shaw store closed after the home furnishing manufacturer announced it had gone into administration inebruary 2020.

ounded in 1932, the family-run Ena Shaw Company specializes in the manufacture and resale of soft furnishings and has close ties to the town community.

The decision to appoint the administrators was taken by the managers of Ina Shaw Company after suffering from difficult commercial conditions.

In 2022, after purchasing the building, Mr Palfrey offered to use the building for the Stand With Ukraine St Helens project, helping to move donations to Ukraine’s border with Poland in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of the country.

positive impact on the region

In a report recommending approval, Case Officer Alex Ball said: “This building has been vacant for two years with the re-use of this building having had a positive impact on the character of the area, resulting in the re-use of the vacant building.”

It was noted that the applicant had submitted a revised ‘Proposed Landscape Plan’ displaying ‘parking within a secure area and making clear that the paved area will be used for delivery vehicles’.

The report added that “the development will be acceptable” and that the highways officer did not object.

It concluded: “I consider that the development will comply with St Helens LP’s LPA06 policy.”

St Helens Star: former Ina Shaw unitThe former Inna Shaw unit (Photo: St Helens Star)

ormal permission was granted in November, with scaffolding now visible outside the former Duke Street store building as works commenced.