Region wins funding for ‘shovel-ready’ schemes

Lancashire, Cheshire, Warrington and Cumbria pocketed a share of the £900m Government pot for projects deemed fit to boost the UK economy post-Covid-19, in addition to Greater Manchester’s £54m and Liverpool City Region’s £26m allocations.

The cash is being distributed from Whitehall’s Getting Building Fund, from which regional authorities bid for support last month. 

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority announced the winners of its own bid earlier this week, followed by an announcement from the Liverpool City Region Authority yesterday.

Abingdon Street Market

Blackpool Council has been given £3.6m to acquire and refurbish Abingdon Street Market

The breakdown of other projects across the rest of the North West to win support is as follows:

Lancashire LEP – £34.1m 

  • Houndshill extension scheme, Blackpool – £5m 
  • Abingdon Street Market acquisition and rejuvenation, Blackpool – £3.63m 
  • Alker Lane, Chorley – £2.25m  
  • Pioneer Place, Burnley – £3.68m  
  • Lancashire Centre for Alternative Technologies –’RedCat‘ – £1.5m 
  • Low Carbon Manufacturing Building Demonstrator (AMRC), South Ribble and Ribble Valley – £2.5m 
  • Project Neptune – Project Neptune is the first phase of a transformational mixed-use development of Fleetwood Docks – £4.03m 
  • Hillhouse Enterprise Zone, Wyre – £0.5m  
  • M55 Link Road, Fylde – £5.79m 
  • The Tatton Scheme, Chorley – £5.2m 

Blackpool received a combined £8.6m for two projects – the extension of the Houndshill shopping centre and the revamp of Abingdon Street Market. The extension of Houndshill is intended to provide a 40,000 sq ft, nine-screen Imax-style cinema, two restaurants and a 22,000 sq ft Wilko store. 

Elsewhere, the Pioneer Place project in Burnley town centre includes the redevelopment of a brownfield site to house the town’s relocated cinema and a new food and beverage offer, while the M55 link road scheme is intended to improve access to Blackpool’s Enterprise Zone employment site. 

The Tatton Scheme is planned to provide 63 assisted living homes and 14 low-rise residential units in Chorley, while around 93,000 sq ft of commercial space is to be created at Alker Lane in Chorley. 

Further details are available on the Government website. 

Cheshire and Warrington LEP – £15.5m 

Chester Northgate Planning Application June 2019 1

The Chester drainage tunnel would advance the city’s long-awaited Northgate development

  • Chester Drainage Tunnel – £5m 
  • All Electric Bus Fleet Depot, Warrington – £5m 
  • Alderley Park Validation Centre of Excellence, Macclesfield – £5m 

The investment will deliver a new bio-safety facility at Alderley Park, which would be used as a diagnostic centre for highly infectious pathogens such as Covid-19. 

The £70m Northgate scheme in Chester will benefit from a £5m investment to create the Chester Drainage Tunnel. This will help cover additional costs associated with increasing capacity within Chester’s drainage system.  

In Warrington, money has been allocated to create an all-electric bus fleet depot on land owned by the local council.

Further details on the schemes are available on the Government website. 

Cumbria LEP – £10.5m 

  • Cumbria Vertical Farm Centre of Excellence – £5.5m 
  • A595 Bothel improvements – £5m 

The Bothel improvements proposal would see a significant upgrade to a section of the A595 between Carlisle and Cockermouth, aimed at improving journey times and reliability between Carlisle and West Cumbria. 

Vertical farming, meanwhile, is a method of growing crops whereby they are grown stacked on top of each other rather than in the ground. It is designed to save space and improve crop growth. The £5.5m contribution is intended to buiild a 700,000 sq ft, carbon-neutral vertical farming research facility in Lillyhall. 

Further details are available on the Government website. 


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