The land that makes up the modern Borough of St Helens developed from a network of villages and townships, which thanks to the abundance of coal, and men and women with the ingenuity to exploit it, had become an industrial powerhouse by 1800. A number of internationally important ‘firsts’ took place in St Helens, including England’s first industrial canal (the Sankey Canal), built in the 1750s, crossed in the 1830s by The Sankey Viaduct, the world’s first intercity railway line; the Rainhill Locomotive Trials in 1829, before the opening of the world’s first inter-city railway line in 1830; and the invention of the ‘float glass’ technique by Sir Alistair Pilki ngton in 1959.
Our work included a comprehensive review of existing built heritage assets and their current management and operations. This included a major 3-week open public consultation, featuring an extremely-popular ‘art drop’ by renowned local contemporary artist “Drunkwolf”, in local public buildings, schools and local landmark locations.
Our final confidential report included a complete evaluation of all of the Borough’s built heritage assets, and a phased and prioritised implementation strategy & delivery plan to maximise the economic, social and cultural potential of the area’s built heritage to 2030. We are now liaising with the Borough in delivering the priorities that we have recommended.