Halton Council has picked BDP to draw up a five-year masterplan and delivery strategy to guide the regeneration of Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn.
Built as part of the development of Runcorn New Town, the estate still houses a number of businesses, but also has areas that the council believes aren’t realising their full potential.
The Mersey Gateway bridge, which opened in October 2017, passes over the estate on elevated piers, giving Astmoor greater prominence and accessibility. The bridge’s construction was enabled through the relocation and clearance of a central area of Astmoor, meaning that there around 17 acres due to be handed back to the local authority in 2019.
Astmoor is one of eight regeneration impact areas identified in the Mersey Gateway Regeneration Plan Plus, which was approved by Halton in March 2017.
BDP’s multidisciplinary team of architects, planners and urban designers will work with a professional team including JLL, Curtins as highway engineer and social value advisor Ekosgen.
The team is supporting the council and its partner the Astmoor Business Improvement District, which has been running since 2008, in delivering a vision to make Astmoor a “standout” business location. The strategy is to define a portfolio of development and investment opportunities and a five-year plan to guide regeneration activity.
Francis Glare, principal at BDP, said: “Halton was clear that they wanted a consultant team that can bring best practice, innovative ideas, and a strong commercial awareness.
“We have put together a specialist team with extensive experience in business parks, research, and science parks, and of relevant building typologies who will collaborate with key stakeholders to deliver a credible masterplan and delivery strategy.”
Halton’s executive board member for the physical environment, Cllr Ron Hignett, said: “The masterplan is being produced to help maximise the local economic benefits of Mersey Gateway Project. The new bridge has the potential to act as a catalyst for the transformation of Astmoor into a modern business park and employment area.
“The council wants the masterplan to be a shared vision for the regeneration of Astmoor and there will be opportunities for the local business community, potential investors, and residents to comment on and help develop our plans.”
The masterplan and outcome of consultation are expected to be presented to the council in spring 2019.