£200 million regeneration planned for Winsford

14 July 2016

A real commitment from Cheshire West and Chester Council has been produced to enhance the economic opportunities in Winsford. The comprehensive programme identifies projects valued up to £200 million. 

The Winsford regeneration programme will be resourced over the next two years with £3.5 million from the Council's Capital programme.  

The 'Whole Place' approach focuses on regeneration, improving education, skills and employment opportunities and providing early intervention and support for vulnerable adults, families and children.

The Council is working with the leasehold owner to revitalise the Winsford Cross Shopping Centre providing larger and more flexible shop space, an improved market and increased community uses.

Plans are being produced to bring a mix of high quality, affordable and accessible new homes into the town centre. The Verdin Exchange and Phoenix Depot are among the key sites owned by the Council that could provide new housing, helping to bring greater vitality and life into the town centre. More than 300 new homes could be developed in these two sites, of which half would be Starter Homes helping to bring young people and families to the town centre.

Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure commented: "This ambitious programme is completely in line with the aims of the nationally recognised Winsford Neighbourhood Plan. Our plans include new jobs and improved leisure facilities for residents plus new homes while also helping tackle inequality and making Winsford a place where everyone can really thrive.

"Any future development will only be implemented after full consultation with the people of Winsford. Residents have my assurance that this will be done with them, not to them." The Council is working with development partner PSP to develop land by the A54 and River Weaver (the former Greedy Pig site) as part of a wider Waterfront leisure and recreation area plan that will include pub, restaurants, boating, walking and cycling.

Working with the Town Council, plans are being developed to reinforce Town Park and High Street to link with the Waterfront and the wider Weaver Valley. The Old High Street will already be benefiting from new and improved parking spaces; additional investment will re-establish the High Street as a highly visible, accessible location for independent business, linking the town centre to the Waterfront.

The Neighbourhood Plan identifies 30ha of employment land at Winsford 1-5 industrial estate. When completed the site could provide more than 1 million square feet of employment floor space, creating approximately 2,000 jobs and attracting up to £90 million investment.

A comprehensive transport strategy was also produced as part of the Neighbourhood Plan. Initial priorities to be commissioned between now and 2018 include:
  • Town Centre Improvements - town centre parking, taxi rank facilities.
  • Improved Local Bus Services - assessment of local demands for service improvements.
  • Improved access to the M6 - considering options for a preferred route to improve access to the motorway.
  • Station Accessibility - improving taxi services at Winsford Rail Station.
  • Speed Limit reviews - progressing plans to introduce 20mph zones in the town centre and potential sites across the town.
  • Enhanced Rail connectivity - to maximise the benefits of and links to Crewe. Supporting work to re-open Middlewich station.
  • HGV facilities - agree options for lorry parking to serve the Winsford 1-5 industrial estate.
Quality education and skills are also a priority. Starting with communications to promote early years entitlements and access to local provision for parents. Improving English and Maths and improving information, advice and guidance available to young people in relation to careers are identified. The Council will work with local employers, schools and colleges to identify skills shortages to help meet the future needs of the economy.

A new Work Zone will help with support for people looking for jobs. Tailored plans will be produced addressing challenges around skills, motivation, health and income. Work Zones first opened in February 2013 since then 4,187 customers have been registered in the Cheshire Work Zones, successfully supporting 1,444 people into jobs to date with the figure increasing year on year. 

Support for vulnerable adults, families and children is being improved with the creation of assessment teams for the majority of Social Work assessments in the area. The aim is to ensure assessments are carried out quickly whilst still maintaining quality. 

Additional resources are being planned for Integrated Early Support to improve mental health provision and strengthen family support. Whilst the 'West Cheshire Offer' is a new flexible support for all residents to maintain their independence.

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