Businesses, organisations and key individuals, from the public and private sectors are working together on an initiative to deliver a consistent message about St Helens so that the rest of the country and the world starts to see and hear about what a special place St Helens is.
Following on from the launch of the initiative in February, businesses and organisations big and small from across St Helens got together at Haydock Park Racecourse today (Wednesday 26th April) to find out how they can be a St Helens Ambassador and help spread the word about what the borough has to offer.
St Helens Ambassadors is a scheme that brings together the knowledge, networks, passion and determination of local businesses, and uses these to attract investment and jobs in order to boost the local economy. Ambassadors will act as proactive advocates for the borough, both nationally and internationally, with the power to influence how the area is marketed and portrayed in the media and at events, in order to promote it as the educated choice for the people that matter.
Similar schemes have been established successfully in places like Burnley, Coventry and Warwickshire, to name a few.
For their part businesses who become an Ambassador will have access to a powerful network of influencers in the area, as well as being the first to hear of latest developments, have priority reservation on key events, have access to marketing materials and the Ambassador logo and help with raising their businesses profile.
Eamonn McManus, Chairman of St Helens Rugby Club and Chair of St Helens Economy Board, Jason Fildes, General Manager at Haydock Park Racecourse and Mike Palin, Chief Executive at St Helens Council, joined invited guests to introduce the St Helens Ambassadors programme and encourage businesses to play their part in helping to further promote, position and sell the new St Helens.
Some of the business who have pledged their commitment to the scheme and were announced at the event today included;
Haydock Park Racecourse
St Helens RFC
Jason Fildes, General Manager at Haydock Park Racecourse said: “Membership of the St Helens Ambassadors will unite the knowledge, networks and desire of businesses, organisations and individuals, from both the public and private sectors, to positively change perceptions of St Helens and raise the profile of the area.
“Ambassadors will be a dynamic force to put St Helens on the map, to attract investors, to spread the word, to show what is special about St Helens and to create a buzz about the place. Haydock Park Racecourse is delighted and proud to become a St Helens Ambassador.”
Economic growth in the borough is taking off. In less than two months since the launch of the St Helens initiative, Pilkington has announced its development of an Energy Recovery Facility at its Greengate site and Knauf Insulation will build a new multi-million-pound glass cullet processing facility, the first of its kind in the UK, in the borough, with the creation of 18 permanent jobs as well as the use of local firms to carry out the relevant construction work. In the town centre at the Linkway West development, Chiquitos has announced the opening of its new restaurant alongside Costa Coffee and Aldi and both the Theatre Royal and Darkstar Laser have been shortlisted for the Liverpool Tourism Awards for Entertainment Venue of the Year and Independent Tourism Business of the Year, respectively.
There have also been recent developments within the housing sector, with St Helens Council granting planning permission for over 250 new homes, including 134 homes completing the Vulcan Village development, a new housing site at Lancotts Lane opposite the Moss Nook site, for Gleeson Homes, and a number of new homes at Edward Street, Parr, as part of the housing offer to be delivered by Torus.
Eamonn McManus, Chairman of St Helens Rugby Club said: “Real and substantial investment growth and momentum is already building in St Helens. The decade ahead will witness an era of much improved economic growth for the town as it exploits its natural strategic position as the Axis of the Liverpool Manchester Corridor.
“The St Helens Place Ambassador Programme will provide its members with an unparalleled networking environment and will raise their own business profiles regionally, nationally and internationally. More importantly, they will together form a natural and effective marketing and sales force to promote the St Helens of the future as a town of choice to invest in, work in and live in. We have a great opportunity to significantly improve the profile and prosperity of the town for the benefit of all. This will be much more rapidly and effectively delivered by binding our existing businesses and businessmen into the process through the tailor made Ambassador Programme.”