Halton Borough Council is set to endorse an “aspirational and transformational” masterplan for a development area focussed around Runcorn’s railway station.
The masterplan’s aim is to provide a new gateway into Runcorn and the wider Liverpool City Region by regenerating an area around the town’s station, with a mix of land uses proposed.
This will be led by public realm and will provide commercial, residential and retail space in a masterplan which the council described as “realistic and deliverable yet aspirational and transformational”.
Key to the masterplan is a series of infrastructure works: these include revised access on to the Silver Jubilee Bridge; delinking and demolition of the structures carrying traffic from the bridge to the Weston Point Expressway; construction of a new roundabout to link the Daresbury Expressway and Weston Point; and the permanent stopping-up of highways that are no longer needed.
The council said it had already made “a significant financial commitment to the project” to support the infrastructure works.
Other options being explored also include the council occupying a new building at the site. Halton is also exploring merging its land holdings with Network Rail, which owns a significant chunk of land alongside the railway, to provide the land required to deliver the station-led part of the masterplan.
Halton brought urbanism practice We Made That on board earlier this year, and has also worked with Regeneris, Steer Davies Gleave, and PRD on the masterplan.
To support the masterplan, the council has signalled its intention to draw up a business case for a bid to the Single Investment Fund, a Combined Authority initiative which has a £500m pot to put towards projects in the Liverpool City Region.
Earlier this month, the council’s search for a development partner drew to a close; a developer is expected to be chosen next year.