New regeneration body for Northwich launched

Michael Hunt

A team of leaders from the public, private and voluntary sectors have formed a new partnership with the aim of supporting the regeneration and future development of Northwich.

As part of Northwich Town Council's community engagement initiative the Regenerate Northwich Partnership has set out to fill the vacuum left behind by the demise of Northwich Vision.

The Regenerate Northwich Partnership has targeted the following main objectives:

  • to assist in the comprehensive regeneration of Northwich, optimising the opportunities presented by the development and enhancement of the town's natural and built assets
  • to engage with Northwich Town Council, Cheshire West & Chester Council and other partners and stakeholders from the public, private and third sector to achieve the key objective
  • to complement, support and lobby other organisations with the responsibility to assist in the regeneration of the area
  • to assist in the production of a town plan to support regeneration proposals
  • to unlock third party funding opportunities and to co-ordinate the approach to such funding
  • to provide the most appropriate mechanism to enable all of the above objectives to be met

The partnership is being led by Mike Cooksley, the former chairman of Visit Chester and Cheshire, and intends to engage not only with those mentioned above but also with The Weaver Valley Partnership and local community groups to identify where it is felt that effort should be best concentrated to assist in turning round the fortunes of the town.

Amongst the founding partners, the Regenerate Northwich Partnership includes:

  • Neal Chamberlain, corporate affairs director of Brunner Mond
  • Alex Dornan, projects director of NPL Estates
  • Cllr Arthur Neal, from Northwich Town Council and former leader of Vale Royal Borough Council
  • Jane Staley, executive director of Groundwork Trust Cheshire
  • Mark Barker, client and stakeholder manager at Northern Rail
  • John Reilly, principal at Mid Cheshire College
  • Paul Nolan, project director of Mersey Forest

The new body also includes other local businesses and third sector organisations and Steve Jardine, former project director of the Weaver Valley management board, is technical advisor.

Cooksley, who currently advises the Government on the UK Inland Waterways and is foundation governor at Sir John Deane's College where he is overseeing the £28m rebuild of the college, said: "Many of our market towns have partnership organisations supporting regeneration and community initiatives and it is only right that Northwich, one of the Cheshire's key towns, also has that support.

"In line with current government thinking the creation of a community led partnership that will have the responsibility and a say in the town's future is paramount to putting Northwich back on its feet and to facilitate this it is intended to hold a number of community forums to gauge support. Utilising its great natural and built assets such as the river, the town's unique architecture and its enviable position at the heart of Mid Cheshire Northwich has the potential to become a vibrant centre for retail and leisure once again."

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