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Two firms shortlisted for Merseyside redevelopment

Bowmer & Kirkland and Eric Wright have been shortlisted for the deal to redevelop Kirkby town centre in Merseyside.

Negotiations with developer St Modwen are under way and a preferred bidder is expected to be chosen by mid-May.

The winning bidder will deliver the 130,00 sq ft retail phase of the redevelopment.

This includes a new 45,000 sq ft Morrisons supermarket that will anchor the retail scheme as well as 76,000 sq ft of retail units, two fast-food outlets, additional car parking and new public realm.

Demolition work on the site was started last August by a local contractor and is expected to be completed soon.

Construction, which will create 115 jobs during the project, is expected to start in the autumn.

St Modwen has also been chosen as the development partner by Knowsley Council for a leisure development near the retail section of the scheme.

Reel Cinemas has signed a deal to open a six-screen multiplex on the site to anchor the development, which will include bars and restaurants.

Demolition of three empty buildings is under way to prepare the site, with a planning application for the leisure scheme set to be submitted in the summer.

The two schemes are part of a long-term redevelopment of Kirkby that began in 2011.

St Modwen took over redevelopment of Kirkby town centre in October 2015 when it paid £35.8m to buy the land from Tesco, which decided not to go ahead with its own redevelopment plans.

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