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.

Download the Local Growth Fund Mid-Term Evaluation here.

For the latest project updates please see the monthly Performance and Investment Committee papers, click here

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;

The Centre Park Link Business Case can be viewed here

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.

Ellesmere Port One Estate Paper

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.

Winsford Scheme Development

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—phases-2-and-3

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

Find out more here.

Read the appendices here.

Download the Omega Local Highways Phase 1 Full Business Case here

Skills – LGF Grant £5m

View the list of skills projects approved in the table below

Click here to view the Skills projects that have been approved

Project Name   (click to view each business case) Project Description Total Project Cost £ LGF Awarded £
C&W Security Training an investment in computers, servers and networking equipment to deliver cyber security training to individual learners and local businesses.  The equipment will be based at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Daresbury.  The proposed business model is based on an existing facility in Salford.                  297,398                    17,398
Community Learning Hubs Project to provide digital equipment for use in the community by adult learners and the workforce of local businesses, situated in ‘Community Digital Learning Hubs’ at Northwich and Winsford libraries. The college will co-locate some of its adult and community (ACL) provision at the libraries and will augment existing learning opportunities there, primarily focusing upon digital familiarisation and upskilling.                    52,525                    39,038
The digital hub – Digital doorstep an investment in portable, entry level specialist equipment to support the development of additive manufacturing and virtual and augmented reality.  The equipment will be based at Cheshire College South and West’s Crewe campus.                    44,172                    18,235
Made Digital (previously Warrington digital) an investment in equipment to deliver coding, digital fabrication, physical computing workshops to young people and vulnerable people in schools, central and neighbourhood libraries and businesses within Warrington.  The investment would build on pilot work already undertaken by LiveWire Warrington library staff and Spark at Penketh High School.                    37,892                    19,992
21st Century Skills Lab an investment in specialist equipment to support the development of computer network management and cyber security skills.  The equipment would complement the UTC’s cyber curriculum.  The equipment would be located at Warrington UTC but could be moved and installed at a range of temporary sites.                    39,988                    19,988
Macclesfield Stem Centre Investment in a STEM Centre at AstraZeneca Macclesfield to allow employees and visitors to experience AR, VR, 3D Printing and Projection Mapping. The STEM Centre will be a dedicated building and use existing underutilised space on the AstraZeneca Macclesfield site whereby employees can go to experience immersive digital content for training in digital and increase their awareness and understanding of advanced manufacturing and research.                  402,420                  268,420
The Digital Hub – Project 4.0 Investment in a digital hub employing cutting edge technology including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics and Additive Manufacturing that would be based in a central and fully accessible Digital Hub on College campuses.  A proportion of the equipment that is readily portable will be incorporated into a mobile learning centre that will deliver the opportunity to engage with the technology and the desired reskilling and upskilling.               2,230,749                  913,648
Automatic Milking dairy Investment in a new automatic milking dairy to provide training, upskilling and reskilling and education in digitalisation, robotics and data-driven dairy management.  A key part of this is the creation of a Centre for Dairy Automation and Robotic Milking.                  736,000                  656,000
The Controlled environment Food Production Centre Facility to develop precision horticulture through controlled environment food production.                  450,000                  340,000
Specialist equipment to transform Digital and  advanced manufacturing skills New Digital Hub to provide Agile Project Mgt training, cyber security, coding and robotics.               1,124,912                  521,615
High Performance Private cloud Investment in client server computing environment for use by industry and education.               1,968,308                  893,005
IOTA skills lab to train participants in their STEM confidence and raise aspirations across new technology and advanced engineering.                  398,560                  118,800
AMET centres – Warrington Campus and Vale Royal campus Advanced manufacturing and Engineering Centres.  The Centres will enhance the skills of prospective and current employees though the training is the use of specialist equipment.               1,369,000                  656,000
Computers for schools Funding to provide laptops to schools to lend to students with no access to a computer at home                    30,000                    30,000
Specialist equipment to transform digital skills in Construction The ACT hub and spokes aim to assist the industry to build high quality, smart, green and efficient building infrastructures, faster, cheaper and more sustainably than ever before.                  571,500                  260,000
Specialist equipment to widen access to technology and digital skills To purchase equipment which will support and develop businesses, educational establishments, and communities within the Cheshire & Warrington LEP region in their use of and adoption of digital skills and new technologies.                  270,500                  125,000

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.

Energy Innovation – £4.151m

Click here to view the Energy Innovation projects that have been approved

Project Name Project Description Total Project Cost £ LGF Awarded £
Low carbon Energy Efficient grant Energy Audit and Grant programme for SMEs 1,415,030 695,000
Project Vanguard Green Hydrogen Generation and refuelling station at Middlewich refuse truck depot.  Four vehicles to be converted to Hydrogen.  Refuelling services to be made available to NW hydrogen alliance members. 1,035,000 345,000
Netzero Cheshire Development of a net carbon-zero smart energy building.  Including ground sources heat pump, LED lighting, PVs, 20 EV charging points 753,000 335,000
Delivering network visibility in Cheshire’s Energy Innovation district Collecting data from 673 sub stations to help understand constraints and trade variable loads 1,364,100 825,084
E-port Net Zero The project is to complete a detailed study to inform a capital programme of investment for a net zero cluster. 928,600 718,600
Warrington Smart Grid The project pilot will involve the installation of 160 energy storage assets (10 electric batteries and 150 heat batteries) and 40 energy optimisation Smart Boxes across Warrington. The majority of these will be into social housing working with the Council for deployment in their existing and newly proposed ECO housing stock but a number also into SMEs. 535,109 353,551
Hy-Net The HyNet project is a major decarbonisation infrastructure scheme in development since 2016 which will deliver the UK’s first low carbon industrial cluster. The funding will go towards further development work for the project. 830,316 447,760
Aircom and LoraWAN deployment The primary goal of the project is to facilitate green energy sources and reduce carbon emission for the natural gas network. The deployed equipment provides a higher density of monitoring and control equipment for injecting Hydrogen and or bio-Methane into the gas grid. 484,240 231,417
Canalside EV charging scheme Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging Hub at Canalside Depot in Ellesmere Port which is located on Canalside Industrial Estate within the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone. 200,000 200,000


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.

Click here to read the A5117, Ellesmere Port Cycle Business Case

Click here to read the A5117, Ellesmere Port Cycle Appraisal

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.

Click here to read the Trans Pennine Trail Upgrade Business Case

Click here to read the Trans Pennine Trail Upgrade Appraisal

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.

Click here to read Chester Road Cycleway Business Case

Click here to read Chester Road Cycleway Appraisal

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.

Click here to read Ellesmere Port Canal Towpath Business Case

For project updates please see the monthly Performance and Investment Committee papers, please click here.