Chester Gateway, Chester, P.CWAC
The council is requesting £16.7m for Chester projects

Govt mulls CWAC’s £32m Levelling Up Fund ask 

Dan Whelan

Cheshire West and Chester Council has lodged a two-part bid for cash from Whitehall’s £4.8bn pot to support projects in Chester and Ellesmere Port. 

The council has requested £16m for schemes in Ellesmere Port. Among them is a £9m plan to refurbish of the town’s Civic Hall. 

In addition, improvements are also planned for Civic Square, as well as a “flagship greening project”, which will create a green interconnected corridor through the town. 

Upgrades to public spaces, including the introduction of public art and lighting installations, as well as highways improvements, also feature in Ellesmere Port’s bid.

In Chester, CWAC is requesting £16.7m to go towards the City Gateway project and CityPlace business quarter near Chester train station.   

The project would include: 

  • a new archive and history centre
  • landscaping and public art 
  • a transport hub to support rail travellers 
  • More than 70,000 sq ft of office space
  • 200 new homes.  

The council has worked in conjunction with Chester MP Chris Matheson, and Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders on the bids. A decision on the bids is expecting in autumn.

“Revitalising our town centre is one of the biggest priorities for people in Ellesmere Port,” Madders said. 

“Our plans will strengthen the sense of pride about our town centre in the local community, tackle health inequalities and drive footfall to the retail areas as well as complimenting the investment the council is already making in the town centre.” 

Matheson added: “Chester’s cultural and heritage offers are intertwined, and this bid complements them perfectly, knitting together sustainable 21st century development with pride in our city’s heritage and our future economic growth.  

“With space to attract new businesses, a plan to create new jobs and a place to celebrate our city’s rich history, this bid has the potential to further define Chester as a sustainable place that’s open to visitors and open for business.”  

Two further bids for Levelling Up Fund cash are being prepared for Northwich and Winsford, the council said.  

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Chester’s bid has to be the strongest levelling up fund bid I have seen in the North West to date. It’s hitting all the marks: health, transport, jobs and homes! Well done to all and best of luck!

By CP

So much opportunity here. Chester is one of those places that somehow feels less than the sum of its parts. It has amazing assets interspersed by really poor planned and executed spaces.

By Rich X

What about help for small business’s who can’t get any funding from central Government? This just looks like another load of building projects that will no doubt go to the favoured few. Art and green spaces are great, but people need jobs, and small companies need support.

By Anonymous