Knowsley Council has completed a £43.8m deal to acquire 87 shops and over 12 acres of land from St Modwen.
The deal will enable the council to push forward its regeneration of the town centre, beginning with the construction of 94,000 sq ft of new retail space.
Leader of Knowsley Council, Cllr Graham Morgan, said: ‘We have always been committed to regenerate Kirkby Town Centre and we have shared the frustrations of many of our residents over the years.
‘This is the single biggest property investment which the council has ever made and we hope that it sends a strong message to our communities that we are behind them and will do everything we can to deliver the positive changes they want.’
The investment – which will be paid back using the rental income generated and the eventual sale of some land – will create around 500 new jobs and £650,000 per year in business rates income.
The council is also planning on purchasing the Knowsley Community College site on Cherryfield Drive to open a new facility in the heart of the town centre.