WARRINGTON has received a major boost after being revealed as one of the first areas to receive Town Deal funding worth more than £22m to help to utilise vacant spaces and restore a vibrant town centre.
The plans will include launching an advanced construction training centre and a health and social care academy as well as a health and well-being hub in the town centre and an active travel programme.
The Town Deal for Warrington announced by the Government today (Tuesday) will support Warrington Borough Council and MP Andy Carter in their ambitions to improve the town, make the area more attractive for residents, businesses and visitors and have a positive impact on the local economy through skills and employment.
The plans include helping to revitalise unloved and underused buildings, such as those that are vacant, by transforming them into new office space and community hubs. This would include locations where residents would have the opportunity to learn new skill, gain health and wellbeing advice.
The council and local businesses will use some of the funding to invest in more environmentally friendly public transport, such as an all-electric bus fleet depot as well as updates to pedestrian areas and green spaces.
Welcoming the news Warrington South MP Andy Carter said:“The bid submitted by the Town Deal Board was really excellent, it ticked so many boxes and having spent the last few weeks pushing Ministers hard to support Warrington, this is fantastic news. This funding will help us boost footfall in the town centre, giving local businesses such as retail and hospitality the chance to grow and thrive – creating new jobs for people who live locally.
“I sat down with the Secretary of State in Westminster only last week to press the urgent need for this funding. Coronavirus has unfortunately presented us with some brutal realities, so we must do everything we can to create an environment that is attractive to both residents and businesses.
“I made a pledge to fight hard for Warrington when I was elected last year, this funding will really allow us to power ahead with the plans to bring new life to the town centre.”
The Council and local stakeholders will now have the opportunity to implement innovative and forward-thinking proposals submitted to the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, designed to tap into the economic potential of 101 shortlisted towns and drive future growth and prosperity across the country.
This latest funding builds on the Government’s wider package of unprecedented measures to help protect and support communities, business and jobs through the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure that nobody is left without hope or opportunity.
Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Luke Hall said:“I am delighted to confirm Warrington will be given a Town Deal worth up to £22.1m from the Government’s Towns Fund help revitalise the town centre.
“We need to make sure our towns are able to adapt to our changing habits, and Warrington is no different. This funding will make the town centre a better place to live, work and play, in turn helping local business to thrive.
“We are determined to make sure every area of the country benefits from our shared prosperity, so we can unlock jobs and opportunity for local people in all of our regions.”