Halton Council will create a masterplan to update the “dated” Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn which could house an additional 1m sq ft of commercial space and create 2,000 jobs.
The industrial estate just off the A533 and A558, alongside the Mersey Gateway, is “underperforming” compared to other employment sites in the area, the council said, largely due to “a concentration of older and smaller commercial premises and its dated 1960s design and layout”.
However, the council said it was also home to “a number of thriving businesses” most of which are based in newly-construction units on the site.
As a result, the council is now looking to push forward with a regeneration of the estate to take advantage of its proximity to the Mersey Gateway.
The council’s executive board signed off the proposals on 14 June and will now look to bring forward a masterplan and a delivery strategy for the site, with the regeneration due to start next year after the masterplan is signed off by the council’s executive board.
The plan will also require the nearby Bridge School to relocate, but the council said this would require a separate sign-off.
Businesses currently based at the park include Kuehne + Nagel; Luxbrite; EFI Parts; Midas Engineering; Atlantic Forklifts; The Food Group; and Klinger.
Cllr Ron Hignett, the council’s executive board member for the physical environment, said: “The Mersey Gateway Project has the potential to act as a catalyst for the transformation of Astmoor into a modern business park and employment area which makes the most of its setting close to the River Mersey.
“The proposed regeneration programme will be focussed on helping Astmoor to prosper – by supporting existing businesses to grow and attracting new investment. Astmoor can be a driver for local economic prosperity with potential to support the creation of 2,000 new jobs and safeguarding many more.
“The next step in developing the masterplan is engaging the local business community, potential investors, neighbouring residential areas and other stakeholders to develop a shared vision for the regeneration of Astmoor. This will be done through two stages of consultation.”