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  Proposed development of Kirkby Town Centre
The proposals to invest £400 million in a new Tesco supermarket and stadium for Everton FC

On 25 November 2009, the Communities Secretary turned down the planning application to regenerate Kirkby town centre that included the moves to bring a new Tesco supermarket and stadium for Everton FC.

In response, I issued a statement to the press, in which I said "I deeply regret this decision. In a time of significant economic challenges, it is disappointing that Kirkby will be unable to take advantage of the regeneration opportunities offered by this proposal. We all now need to go back to the drawing board to work out an alternative solution to bring much needed regeneration to Kirkby. I remain determined to ensure Kirkby gets the investment that it so urgently needs."

I believe that the proposal represented a major opportunity for Kirkby and wider Merseyside to benefit from £400 million of private sector investment in Kirkby including a guarantee to reduce long-term unemployment in the area. The many reasons why I supported the proposal, and details of the consultation I conducted with local residents are available here.

The following day, in Parliament, I expressed my astonishment at the decision, and called on the Government to "consider whether a new application, perhaps slightly scaled down, can be fast-tracked and put before the Secretary of State, so that the regeneration of Kirkby and the necessary number of jobs can be delivered". This speech was covered in the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo.

On 30 November, I met with the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, together with the leader and chief executive of the Council to discuss jobs, business and the regeneration of Kirkby. Following that meeting, I issued a statement to the Liverpool Echo explaining the importance of a bringing forward a new proposal, to bring much needed investment to the town.

More information on the proposed development.


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©2007-19 Rt Hon George Howarth MP for Knowsley