£200 million regeneration planned for Winsford
14 July 2016A 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."
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:
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.