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New board urge people to have their say on how £25m should be invested in Warrington

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PEOPLE living and working in Warrington are being urged to have their say in how £25m should be invested if the town is successful in an ambitious funding bid as part of the government’s Towns Fund initiative.

A board of Warrington’s business, community and political leaders have met to discuss an investment plan.

The Warrington Town Deal board has been set up to identify areas where a compelling case for funding can be put forward to contribute to, and complement, the work already being delivered to regenerate the town.

In September 2019, the government invited 101 places – including Warrington – to bring forward proposals for a Town Deal as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Part of the bid process requires Warrington’s Town Deal board to produce an investment plan to detail its ambitions and areas where funding would be welcomed.

The objectives of the Towns Fund are to support regeneration through:

•Skills and enterprise infrastructure – ensuring towns have the space and skills for smaller businesses to thrive

•Connectivity – developing transport schemes that complement other regional and national networks, as well as improving digital connectivity

•Urban regeneration, planning and land use – strategically building up places for people to live and work in the town centre and strengthening the town’s existing and cultural assets

Warrington’s board is therefore focusing on projects and proposals that will drive long-term prosperity for the town centre. As part of the funding bid, the Town Deal board is considering how funding could be used for:

•Town centre accessibility and travel – enhancing transport access, promoting active travel and public transport to support fewer cars in the town centre.

•A local walking and cycling improvement plan – to identify the type of infrastructure improvements needed to support a trebling of cycling over the next 20 years in the town

•Bus priority and corridor treatments – considering how key transport corridors and congestion pinch points can be improved to create better access to buses throughout the borough

•Social care skills academy – focusing on the growing need to fill a skills gap in the adult social care sector to make sure our older people are getting the support and care they need into the future

•Creative digital, arts and culture development – repurposing the high street with a flourishing cultural and visitor economy

•Town centre living – investing in more housing in the town centre

Over the coming months, these key themes and areas will be explored in more detail as part of a rigorous engagement programme.

Chair of the Warrington Town Deal board, Matt Crompton, MD Muse Developments, said: “This is an opportunity for Warrington to stake its claim and bid for funding to give the town centre another welcome boost.

“There is an exciting amount of regeneration and economic investment in Warrington at the moment, with shared ambitions between business and community leaders to make the town even better for those who live and work here.

“The chance to receive further funding from government through the Towns Fund, helping to deliver schemes to make Warrington even more successful, is something that we cannot pass up.”

Warrington Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Prof Steven Broomhead, who is also vice chair of the board, added: “Warrington’s Town Deal board has only met once but we have already made positive steps forward.

“It’s clear that despite the collective work being done to improve the town centre, there is still more for us to achieve. Being successful in receiving funding to support our continued regeneration and development is, therefore, a shared commitment for all of the board’s members.

“Whilst we believe the key themes and areas we have identified need further exploration, it’s essential we hear from those who live, work and visit Warrington, to gather views that will help shape the thrust of our bid. We’ll be meeting with identified stakeholders for various focus groups but any ideas are welcome – nothing is off the table!”

You can share your views and suggestions for how money should be invested in Warrington by visiting mytown.communities.gov.uk/town/warrington/

The Warrington Town Deal board consists of:
•Matt Crompton, MD Muse Developments – chair
•Professor Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive Warrington Borough Council – deputy chair
•Cllr Russ Bowden, Council Leader Warrington Borough Council
•Steve Park, Director of Growth, Warrington Borough Council
•David Boyer, Director of Transport and Environment, Warrington Borough Council
•Dave Thompson, CEO Warrington Disability Partnership
•Ben Wakerley, MD Warrington’s Own Buses
•Bill Carr, CEO Carpe Diem
•Steve Coffey, CEO TORUS
•Ian Cox, Centre Director, Golden Square
•Charlotte Nichols MP, Warrington North
•Andy Carter MP, Warrington South
•Lisa Knowles, Atkins
•Fayyaz Qadir, Atkins
•Stephen Fitzsimons, Business Growth and Investment, Warrington&Co.
•Kathryn Green, Business and Risk, Warrington&Co.
•Nichola Newton – Principal and Chief Executive, Warrington and Vale Royal College
•Colin Daniels – Chief Executive, Warrington Chamber of Commerce

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

3 Comments

  1. Remove the rusting metal boxes full of weeds from the dual carrigeway going through Penketh, restoring the beauty to the village and tidying it up with no maintenance fees.

  2. I copy a statement further below from the government website regarding the Town Fund Deal. It wants local people to have a say in how the fund is invested in Warrington. What really disappoints me is that when you look at the members of the ‘Warrington Town Deal Board’ it is populated with senior members of WBC, various businesses and entities who probably have their own vested interest in how the fund is invested, and that will probably be directed at the town centre regeneration to the exclusion of the local villages. Other than our two new MP’s, there is a complete lack of representation of ‘Local’ people’ who represent the general populous. There are no representatives from any of the surrounding local village councils or Neighbourhood plan groups which constitute ‘our town’ and which should benefit from the Town Deal. Lets hope that the fund is not absorbed in supporting and paying for the Local Plan. The fund needs to be distributed into the wider Warrington community outside of the local plan. Lets hope that the ‘My communities’ website link is publicised a little more effecively such that the Warrington population can indeed comment, and not be just a tick in the box.

    “Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said:

    The best answers for local people will come from local people, that’s why we have listened to people living in these towns and will support them with a mega £3.6 billion fund to drive jobs and economic growth.”

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