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.
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 can be found here.
The Cheshire and Warrington LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan can be found here.
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.
Local Growth Funding has been allocated to:
Chester Northgate – LGF Grant £13.5m
The inner ring road junction improvements and bus infrastructure including a new Bus Interchange at Chester Central to free up capacity and open up development sites to accommodate city centre growth at Northgate.
Birchwood Pinchpoint – LGF Grant £2.14m
Omega Birchwood transport improvements, 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;
Thornton Energy Demonstrator – LGF Grant £6.8m
Establishment of the Thornton Energy Demonstrator 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;
Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund – LGF Grant £10m
Establishing a Revolving Life Science Investment Fund 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;
Skills Funding – LGF Grant £12.1m
£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.
Projects receiving funding are:
M62 junction 8 improvements – LGF Grant £5m
Motorway junction improvements and revised connections to local road and motorway sliproads at West Warrington, Omega, M62 Junction 8, allowing for improved access and less congestion to the Omega Development sites for employment and housing;
Warrington Centre Park Link – LGF Grant £5.3m
Construction of additional infrastructure at Warrington Waterfront 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;
Warrington West Station – LGF Grant £6.53m
The new Warrington West railway station 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;
Poynton Relief Road – LGF Grant £22m
Reducing traffic congestion through a 3km Poynton Relief Road 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;
Congleton Link Road – LGF Grant £45m
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 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,
Local Growth Funding has been allocated to:
Ellesmere Port One Public Estate- LGF Grant £8.4m
The development of a single public sector services hub at Ellesmere Port Development Zone bringing together public sector stakeholders, and in doing so releases a number of sites across the town centre for redevelopment as housing and employment land.
Crewe Green Roundabout – LGF Grant £3.3m
Removing a key congestion pinchpoint at Crewe Green Roundabout 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;
Sydney Road Bridge – LGF Grant £5.85m
Replacement of the Sydney Road Bridge 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.
£5.85 million includes £2.35 million from Round 1.
Crewe High Speed Ready Heart – LGF grant £10m
The overall scheme is £67m and will see significant remodelling of the town centre, including the demolition and relocation of the existing bus station and the creation of a new shopping arcade. The business case put forward concentrates on the elements to be funded through LGF and Cheshire East Council, which are, the Bus Station, new multi-story car park, public realm and reconfiguration and updating of the markets.
Unlocking Winsford Industrial Expansion Land – LGF grant £3.8m
Infrastructure works to open up the site for redevelopment to create new commercial and industrial buildings with associated jobs. The total cost of the scheme is estimated at £10.9m.
A51 Tarvin Road – LGF grant £3.663m
This £5.5m scheme seeks to address transport problems between the M53/A55/A51 junction and the Tarvin roundabout, which is prone to congestion and travel delay, through a series of highway capacity improvements at key points along the corridor. The project is expected to improve travel times in and around the area and thereby indirectly support regeneration of the neighbouring areas, such as Chester Northgate. The scheme is also expected to increase air quality through better movement of traffic and reduce the number of accidents on this stretch of road.
Warrington East Highways Improvements – LGF grant £6.9m
Warrington East Highway Scheme is the second phase of a three phase scheme on the A574 in Warrington. The £13.35m project seeks to ease the significant congestion in the area and increase capacity on the road network in East Warrington to support the development of housing and commercial opportunities. The scheme proposed will deliver:
- Partial signalisation of College Place Roundabout.
- Partial signalisation of the Oakwood Gate/Birchwood Way Roundabout
- Partial dualling of Birchwood Way north of the Moss Gate signalised junction
Omega Local Highways – LGF grant £4.3m
Currently the junction of the A57 Liverpool Road and Lingley Green Avenue experiences peak hour congestion which can result in significant queues, impacting on the operation of the west Warrington highway network. Without improvement, congestion is predicted to increase as traffic growth in the area continues.
The proposed junction improvements aim to, reduce journey times and queues and improve the transport network to support planned growth in the area
Skills – LGF Grant £5m
Funding has been provided to support the development of key skills in the region. The details of the project/s will be provided in due course following a skills call. All project/s will align with the approved Skills and Education plan.
On 18 September the Employers’ Skills and Education Board meeting considered all the bids (bids up to £20,000 and the larger bids) requesting investment of Local Growth Fund Skills Funding in specialised equipment needed to deliver digital and STEM related learning across Cheshire and Warrington. The Performance and Investment Committee also considered the bids on the same day.
Subject to endorsement by the main LEP Board on 16 October 19 the following projects have been approved:
- Astra Zeneca for a STEM Centre;
- Cheshire College South and West for a Digital Hub;
- Macclesfield College for a Digital Hub and
- Reaseheath College for a new automatic milking dairy.
Energy Innovation – £4.151m
Funding has been provided to support energy innovation in SMEs. The funding will be subject to an open call process and will be split across the following priorities:
Joint Cheshire and Warrington Sustainable Travel Access Fund – LGF Grant £5m
The fund is designed to improve sustainable access across the sub region. Each local authority bid for funding which has been indicatively approved for the following projects:
A5117, Ellesmere Port Cycle Scheme
Provision of a new shared use (pedestrian / cycle) pathway adjacent to the northern side of the carriageway enhancing the A5117 cycle route (National Cycle Route 5), a 5km cycleway between M53 junction 10 and M56 Junction 14. The facility will provide local residents with a safe walking and cycling route to access; education, employment, retail and leisure opportunities presented in Ellesmere Port Town Centre, Cheshire Oaks and the Cheshire Science Corridor, Enterprise Zone. The employment opportunities in the area are dynamic and at present they include access to; Thornton Science Park, Essar Stanlow, Encirc and the Protos cluster employment.
Trans Pennine Trail Upgrade, Warrington
This scheme will see the upgrade of the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) within Warrington between Knutsford Road (A50) and Wilderspool Causeway (A49)
The present path is of poor quality, suffers from drainage issues, and is less than 1m wide in places which makes it less attractive for use by pedestrians, cyclists and mobility scooters. (see Annex A for images). The project will widen the path to 3m, clearing back encroaching vegetation to create a wide verge. This will improve visibility and personal security and will provide suitable crossing points at the main roads.
Chester Road Cycleway
Provision of an enhanced shared use path alongside the A5060 Chester Road next to the river Mersey and along Wilderspool Causeway towards Warrington town centre. It would allow residents and commuters a safer route to allow them walking and cycling access to the retail and job opportunities presented by the town centre and nearby employment areas such as Centre Park and St James Park.
Ellesmere Port Canal Towpath
Enhancement of 3 towpath sections along the Shropshire Union Canal between Ellesmere Port and Chester (National Cycle Routes 5, 45 and 70), creating widened and improved surfacing. The scheme also provides a new off-road shared used path on Thornton Road, linking the Canal Towpath to Cheshire Oaks retail area via a new pedestrian footbridge.
The scheme provides safe walking and cycling access to education, employment, retail and leisure opportunities at Chester Business Quarter, Countess of Chester Hospital, Cheshire Oaks and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone in Ellesmere Port. The scheme covers a total length of 4.7km.