Cheshire and Warrington Growth Deal

The Cheshire and Warrington LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan ‘ Cheshire and Warrington Matters’ was developed in a response to Government to set out the Sub-Region’s ambitious strategy to support local growth and economic development over the next decade. These strategies were then used by LEP’s to negotiate Local Growth Deals, through which the Government is devolving significant funds to LEP’s to deliver projects to benefit the local area and economy.

In July 2014, Cheshire and Warrington LEP were awarded £142.7 million from the Local Growth Fund. This total includes funds that were previously awarded through the LTB and DfT Tail Majors Funding. Further details on that Growth Deal can be found here. A further £15.2 million awarded as part of Local Growth Fund Round 2 in January 2015.

The deal will help to create up to 9,000 jobs, allow up to 400 homes to be built and generate up to £50 million in public and private investment.

In March 2016, The Government announced a further bidding for a third Local Growth Deal. Cheshire and Warrington submitted a proposal to Government in July 2016. The outcome of this is expected to be finalised later this year.

Through their Growth Deal each LEP is required to develop an accountability and assurance framework setting out the arrangements and processes through which the Growth Deal and the Local Growth Fund will operate. The Cheshire and Warrington Accountability and Assurance Framework has been approved by Government and is undergoing a review in line with DCLG National guidelines..

The Cheshire and Warrington LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan is currently being refreshed. Details on this can be found here.

PROJECTS
The Cheshire and Warrington Growth Deal funding has been allocated to a number of projects that will help transform the Sub-Region by creating thousands of jobs, improving transport links across Cheshire and Warrington for people and their families, building new homes and providing new training opportunities for young people to build a stronger economy.

ROUND 1
Local Growth Funding has been allocated to:

The inner ring road junction improvements and bus infrastructure including a new Bus Interchange at Chester Central (£13.5 million) to free up capacity and open up development sites to accommodate city centre growth;

Omega Birchwood transport improvements (£2.14 million), a package of works to enable use of sites and land in the Birchwood employment area of North East Warrington, currently hampered by congestion and access, by making changes to 3 critical locations;

Establishment of the Thornton Energy Demonstrator (£6.8m) site, building on the significant national asset left by Shell to the University of Chester, that enables energy companies to test at scale new power saving and distribution technologies;

Establishing a Revolving Life Science Investment Fund (£10 million), working jointly with Greater Manchester LEP, to support growth in the life science cluster in Cheshire and Greater Manchester. Although not exclusively focused on the AstraZeneca Alderley Park campus, the Fund will be instrumental in encouraging new start-ups and spin outs following AstraZeneca’s departure to Cambridge. As part of the LGF programme Greater Manchester LEP has also been allocated £10 million towards the project;

£12.1 million for Skills Capital, an employer informed programme to address skills needs in engineering, energy, logistics, manufacturing, agri-tech & sports science with a focus on estate renewal and employer led business hubs;
Motorway junction improvements and revised connections to local road and motorway sliproads at West Warrington, Omega, M62 Junction 8 (£5 million), allowing for improved access and less congestion to the Omega Development sites for employment and housing;

Construction of additional infrastructure at Warrington Waterfront (£5.3 million), in the form of a new bridge crossing over the River Mersey and improved route from there to Slutchers Lane at the Southern end of the town centre to support the release of employment and residential sites which are currently hampered by lack of access;

The new Warrington West railway station (£6.530 million) will act as a key interchange node with two main aims, improving accessibility throughout the western and northern sectors of Warrington and servicing Chapelford Urban Village, Briarswood Village, the Omega regional employment site and the neighbouring Lingley Mere employment sites. The station is situated on the Cheshire Lines Committee Route in between the existing Warrington Central and Sankey for Penketh railway stations;

Reducing traffic congestion through a 3km Poynton Relief Road (£22.0 million) and contributing to the physical and social regeneration of Poynton. It also improves connectivity for the northern Macclesfield business area and the strategic link between A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road (A6MARR) and junction 17 of the M6 via Congleton, facilitating wider economic and transport benefits;

A 5.5km single carriageway road between the A534 Sandbach Road and the A536 Macclesfield Road, with links to the existing Radnor Park trading estate and the Congleton business park. The Congleton Link Road (£45 million) is a crucial piece of infrastructure required to support the employment and housing aspirations included within the Council’s Local Plan Strategy.

In addition to the capital allocations above the Growth Deal for Cheshire and Warrington LEP includes:

• An allocation of £350k for 2015/16 to support development and operation of a Business Growth Hub;
• An increase in the Housing Revenue Account borrowing for Cheshire West and Chester Council of £7.5 million;
• A commitment to establish joint working arrangements to support development of a ring-fenced infrastructure fund underpinned by release of HCA land assets in South Warrington;
• A commitment to work with the LEP and partners to identify activity required to maximise the benefits of HS2 once the Phase 2 route consultation response is published.
• Funding of £3.35 million paid direct to Cheshire East Council to deliver the Crewe Green Link Road scheme,

ROUND 2
Local Growth Funding has been allocated to:

The development of a single public sector services hub at Ellesmere Port Development Zone (£8.4 million), bringing together seven public sector stakeholders, and in doing so releases a number of sites across the town centre for redevelopment as housing and employment land;

Removing a key congestion pinchpoint at Crewe Green Roundabout (£3.3 million) on the main distributor network in Crewe and improves access to strategic employment sites at Basford, Capricorn (J17) and directly opens up an allocated housing site;

Removal of the Sydney Road Bridge (£5.85 million)1 which will significantly improve access to the development sites of Leighton West, Coppenhall East and Maw Green. The scheme will provide journey time improvements on a key urban link between the A534 and A530 and improve access to the accident and emergency department from the M6, Sandbach and Congleton.

1£5.85 million includes £2.35 million from Round 1.