WORK has started on a £200m project to completely rebuild huge areas of a Merseyside community.
Over the next 10 years, bulldozers will clear 525 homes, two primary schools and a number of shops in Huyton.
In their place, 1,450 properties will be built, alongside new shops, community buildings and a jobs training centre.
The work, which began last month after years of planning, should transform a 195-acre site, including the pre-World War IIestates of Hillside, Woolfall North and South, Finch House and Fincham.
The ultimate aim is to improve the quality and choice of housing for residents, change perceptions of north Huyton and create a knock-on effect for jobs and education.
The project follows north Huyton’s inclusion in the government’s New Deal for Communities programme in 2001, which saw money ploughed into the area.
Cllr Ron Round, leader of Knowsley council, said: “Over the past few years, we have worked with residents to create a blueprint for the future, with better quality homes, improved environment and easy access to community facilities.
“It has been wonderful to see how involved residents have become in the whole process.
“It means we can be sure that these regeneration works will provide a bright future for the area and all those who live there, both now and in the future.”
The first phase of the scheme will see 391 new houses built around the Hillside estate and former Beechwood school.
Existing residents will have the first option to buy properties as they are completed.
Much of the development area has already been cleared, while other houses are empty and awaiting demolition.
As well as new housing, formal open space will be laid out and improvements made to main roads including Liverpool Road and Seth Powell Way, including new junctions.
Although St Dominic’s junior school will be lost, along with the now-closed Beechwood primary, a new school will be built on part of the site.
And Page Moss library, which was originally earmarked for demolition, will now survive.
Later phases of the development will be submitted to the council over the next few years.