Cheshire wins grant for country parks programme

The North West Development Agency is to help create 420 acres of new green spaces in Cheshire and Warrington by pledging £17.3m towards the scheme.

The grant will be managed by Cheshire County Council under the Revive programme, which aims to transform brownfield land into new community resources with improved public access and nature conservation on previously developed land.

The programme will run for 22 years and cover 20 individual sites, 18 in Cheshire and 2 in Warrington, many within the Weaver Valley Regional Park, which will include the creation of a new cycleway between Chester and Mickle Trafford.

Partners in the scheme include Groundwork, Community Forests, local authorities, the Land Restoration Trust, the Weaver Valley Regional Park and the Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance.

Peter White, NWDA executive director of development, said: "The Revive Programme will help to tackle the legacy of brownfield land in Cheshire and Warrington, transforming 170 hectares of land across the sub-region in to high quality, green open spaces. The scheme is all about enhancing quality of life for local people, as well as creating an environment that will help to attract further investment."

Cheshire's director of environment, Tom McCabe, said: "This agreement with the NWDA provides the opportunity to transform significant areas of neglected and underused brownfield land within Cheshire and Warrington into an environment asset. It will enhance the quality of life within the communities affected, contribute towards the improvement of the area's image and act as a lever for investment.

"County Council officers have been involved in discussions with a number of landowners for some time and the confirmation of the regional funding should now allow us to finalise negotiations so that work can begin."

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