LCR skills and transport projects set for green light

Road improvements and training centres for rail and health are among the projects expected to receive funding approval at the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority board meeting today.

Continuing the work underpinned by the devolution deal announced last year for the area, the schemes will be funded from the £232m Local Growth Fund, secured by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, to invest in transport and skills projects across the city region.

Work on the £4.95m A570 Linkway improvement scheme, the main route from the M62 to St Helens, is expected to be cleared to get under way later this year. The improvement scheme will create extra capacity, reduce congestion and address safety issues, and consists of junction improvements to Sherdley Roundabout and Sutton Hall Roundabout, and safety enhancements to the School Lane crossing.

This is one of seven transport schemes planned for this year. Others include Silver Jubilee Bridge maintenance in Halton, A565 North Liverpool Corridors in Liverpool, Windle Island in St Helens, and M58 Junction 1 improvements in Sefton.

Myerscough College in Liverpool is due to be awarded £1.997m to create specialist newbuild facilities at the Croxteth campus for equine and animal studies.

Wirral Metropolitan College is in line for £2.2m towards a University Health Campus at the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone. These projects are expected to start on site later in 2016.

Plans to develop a technology centre in Halton are also due to be considered as part of a potential £5m commitment from the Local Growth Fund to the project. The funding would support Alstom Transport UK’s plans to create a major new rail facility for the UK. The £40m project could involve approximately 450,000 sq ft being constructed on the HBC Fields site at 3MG Widnes, employing 600 people and providing a new North West Rail Skills Academy.

The Combined Authority is committed to bringing empty buildings back into use.  One such project which is also recommended for approval on Friday is the plan to transform the former Littlewoods building on Edge Lane in Liverpool into film studios. An allocation of £4.95m from the Local Growth Fund is being recommended to support the Littlewoods Studios project. Work on this project will transform 11,000 sq m into a film studio, studio work and office space as well as developing a creative and digital hub and Liverpool Theatre school, which will see the creation of 345 jobs.

Mayor Joe Anderson, chairman of the Liverpool City Combined Authority, said: “I am really looking forward to Friday’s meeting and am proud of the significant progress we already making. These are just the most recent examples of the positive work already started by the Combined Authority right across the whole of the City Region to the benefit of our residents, businesses and visitors alike. The investments and progress reported show that we are already delivering our commitments. I have every confidence that we will continue to secure economic growth, jobs, investment and development in our city region.”

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A film studio in the most filmed city in the UK…. the Littlewoods Building is a truly iconic 1930s pile and the film studio will be a fitting gateway to Liverpool city centre.

By Alfie

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