Key Projects in St.Helens - Liverpool City Region
The Langtree Park Stadium for St Helens RFC
Langtree Park is a rugby league stadium in the Peasley Cross area of St Helens.
With a capacity of over 18,000 spectators, it is home to twice world champions of Rugby League,
The impressive world-class state-of-the-art stadium was built on the former UGB Glass plant site and took ten years to come to fruition, with full planning permission being granted in 2008 and the opening ceremony taking place in early 2012. The first rugby league match was played at the stadium between St.Helens and Widnes Vikings on Friday the 20th of January in 2012, it was won by St.Helens 42-24. The modern facilities include: Lounges for functions and events; A Boardroom; Corporate Boxes; A Cafe; A Superstore; A Museum and a Hall of Fame showcasing the world famous club's history throughout the years. The stadium has two terraced stands and two seated, the pitch is grass with astro-turf along the touchline, on the north-east corner there is a permanent scoreboard and a big screen for live matches. The match day hospitality consists of the sale of the Saints Gold beer which is served inside the ground at a number of kiosks and in the 'Red V' cafe bar. Outside the stadium is a bronze statue of former club captain Keiron Cunningham and a large Saints badge with the town motto: 'Ex Terra Lucem' underneath. The stadium can be accessed via a number of routes, including the Steve Prescott bridge, named in memory of Steve Prescott MBE, a former St Helens and Hull player renowned for his outstanding fund raising contributions to charity.
The entire cost of the stadium was just £25 million, a mere drop in the ocean compared to similar arenas throughout the world. The new venue is part of the regeneration of St Helens town and will no doubt serve St Helens and the city region as a whole for many years to come. The venue is also used by Liverpool Football Club for their reserve games fixtures and various footballing competitions.
The St.Helens Dream Project
The St.Helens Dream is a £1.9 million sculpture
located on an old spoil tip of Sutton Manor Colliery which closed in 1991.
The giant piece of public art resembles the head and neck of a young woman with her eyes closed
in meditation, it was designed by the multi-award winning Catalonian Spanish artist and sculptor,
It stands tall at 66 feet, weighing 500 tons and was built using 90 unique concrete shapes. The foundations of the sculpture extend a further 125 feet into the ground, with 8 piles driven in to secure it. St Helens retains strong cultural ties to the coal industry and has several monuments celebrating the town's former trade.
The symbolic elongated white structure was completed in 2009, it can be seen for miles around as it peaks elegantly above the Bold Forest Park in the south of the borough.
The Bold Forest Park Project
The Bold Forest Park Project is an ever evolving initiative to develop the woodlands and
businesses in the south borough of St.Helens.
Bringing local jobs and prosperity to the area, making it a pleasent place to visit and enjoy.
The whole of Bold Forest Park extends over both sides of the busy M62 Motorway.
At its heart are areas of community woodland planted at the former colliery sites of Colliers Moss,
Clock Face and Sutton Manor.
The proposed park boundary also takes in the Wheatacre Woodland area,
Maypole Wood, Griffin Wood and includes a wider area of urban fringe farmland.
Wheatacre is a 44 hectare community woodland with varied habitats of woods, ponds and grassed areas.
Maypole Wood has a developing woodland with trees, meadows, paths and wildlife. In 2003, the Forestry Commission planted thousands of trees in Maypole Wood to form part of the ever expanding Mersey Forest.
Griffin Wood is a 12-hectare woodland managed by Mersey Forest and the 'Friends of Griffin Wood' community group, they work to maintain and improve the site, installing small boardwalks to make it more accessible and planting many new trees. Essentially Griffin Wood is comprised of two woodlands, of which one is old and the other new. The existing but overgrown mature woodland, which spreads over one hectare, has been much improved. Outside of the old woodland on what had previously been farmland, wildflower seeding has taken place and a mixture of native broadleaf trees have been planted. A special attraction is a sculpture trail containing some remarkable creations that have been carved out of wood by top chainsaw artists and designed by locals.
The natural environment of the Bold Forest Park area has made huge strides over the past 20 years, and is now home to the St.Helens Dream sculpture and a range of attractive young woodlands and green spaces to explore.
The Stanley Bank Project
Stanley Bank is a local nature reserve that is of rich historical and natural importance.
It is the gateway to the Sankey Valley and is the site of an 18th century Iron Slitting Mill,
the terminus of England's First Canal and contains a Site of Specific Scientific Interest,
two Ancient Semi Natural Woodlands and the Black Brook watercourse.
Today, little evidence of the mill remains, either in written records or at the site itself. It was at mills like this, with the arrival of good transport links through canals that the Industrial Revolution was said to have come to the area in the 18th century and the development of St.Helens was accelerated.
The Stanley Bank project was established to find and record any remains of the slitting mill and the corn mill that replaced it. The project has been a partnership between St.Helens Council, the Merseyside Industrial Heritage Society, Groundwork Merseyside, St.Helens Historical Research Society, the former Mersey Basin Campaign and Sankey Canal Restoration Society. The archaeological work was run by the National Museums Liverpool Field Archaeology Unit and St.Helens Council as part of a Community Archaeology Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The site was notified in 1988 due to its biological features which is mostly damp unimproved neutral grassland, which is a rare habitat in Merseyside.
Stanley Bank is now an interesting place to visit either to learn more about the site and St.Helens' industrial heritage or just take a walk around the remains of the mills and the reconstructed water wheels. The accessible Sankey Valley Visitor Centre has disabled facilities, toilets and baby changing facilities as well as an interactive Display Room, equipped with computers and displays of artefacts and information. You can also buy something to eat, a cup of tea, coffee or something a bit stronger in the adjacent Ship Inn.