Through a number of groundbreaking public and private initiatives, St Helens has become one of the most progressive and attractive places to do business in the North West of England and the town continues to attract a large number of companies and highly skilled professionals.
One of the public initiatives includes the much publicised St Helens Inc project, which aims at establishing St Helens as a “vibrant, modern place to for enterprise and a regional location of choice.” This is done over 14 Action Areas contained within 4 overarching themes: re-modelling the business base, achieving cultural transformation, achieving physical transformation and transforming perceptions. The Chamber of St Helens, in collaboration with St Helens Inc, has also formed the Enterprise Forum, a private sector-focused initiative which will oversee the implementation of a five year, £22 million Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.
The programmes aim to attract more businesses to the region in order to create jobs and grow the local community. Various sectors are expected to benefit from the programmes, from the town's manufacturing companies, to the retail and service sectors. The public sector is also going to need more health care professionals in addition to teachers and public administrators. The redevelopment of the town centre also calls for construction workers and township planning professionals. The hospitality industry is also a contributor to increasing job creation in St.Helens, with many chains including the Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Ramada Encore and Premiers Inn operating in the town or its immediate surroundings.. There are also numerous smaller hotels and B&Bs across the borough.
In terms of living standards, St Helens offer a great alternative to close-by cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. The city enjoys a low crime rate and plenty of recreational facilities. Social services such as health care and education are of high quality with children from St Helens schools scoring higher than the national average in subjects such as English, science and maths.
Transportation links are some of the best in the North West, a fact which has formed the basis for promotional materials by the local authorities. The town is served by two main railway lines, the M58 and M62 to the north and south of the town respectively, as well as the M57 and M6 to the east and west. St Helens central bus station has fares throughout the borough and beyond and Selwyns Travel offer three free-fare services in the town centre on behalf of Merseytravel.