St Helens Social Value

St Helens Borough Council and the English Cities Fund (ECF) commissioned Social Value Portal (SVP) and PLACED to produce a Social Value Measurement Framework to feed into the development of the St Helens masterplan. PLACED co-ordinated and delivered engagement activities with young people across the borough to help shape this framework. This builds on previous work that we have done with St. Helens and ECF.

What we did

We engaged with 95 young people across 4 different schools in the borough, across different year groups. The workshops were a full day and explored what young people thought about their town centre. We also conducted a pop-up shop in St. Helens Town Centre, where 20 people shared their views. Altogether, we engaged with 115 people.

The workshops we explored what makes St. Helens Town Centre special and what is currently missing in the area, we followed this with what challenges young people felt like they faced and discussed different precedent ideas. We explored what the issues were and what potential fixes there could be to those issues. Young people would also vote using stickers on our engagement precedent boards. In the afternoon, the design team introduced the project and then the participants would begin to model or sketch their own version of the future town centre.

At the pop up, we summarised what the young people had told us and brought this into the wider community, to explore their views.


Some of the main issues we heard were a lack of activities to do things, no places for young people to go, a lack of work experience or support with jobs, no food and drink places suitable for their age, lack of transportation between places, they often feel unsafe and unsupported and the desire for more youth zones.

The responses will feed directly into the masterplans for St Helens Town Centre.

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