Runcorn projects primed for sign-off

Halton Council’s executive board will next week be asked to rubber-stamp business cases for the schemes that make up the £23.6m Town Deal.

Advancing the projects comes on the back of the opening of a new public space at Runcorn station, part of the Station Quarter masterplan being delivered by the council with £18.2m backing from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

In line with the Reconnecting Runcorn strapline that heads the Town Deal programme, the station project has involved a programme of demolition and alteration to highways that previously severed the station from the town.

As part of the Station Quarter project, land has been freed up for development by removing the trumpet loop that connected to the Silver Jubilee bridge.

Mott MacDonald led on the engineering design of both the highways reconfiguration and the station piazza.

Ray Langley, technical principal at the firm, said: “We are proud of the work we are doing to support the vision for the Runcorn Station Quarter, which will transform the area and improve transport links, leisure and business opportunities.”

That project will underpin the regeneration of the Station Quarter. In all, there are seven government-approved projects within the Town Deal:

  • Station Quarter
  • Creative & digital skills centre
  • The extension of the Brindley Theatre
  • “Unlock Runcorn” a canalside restoration and promotion scheme
  • Town centre new homes
  • High street connectivity
  • Health & education hub

The clock is ticking: each project must be signed off locally and submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Homes & Communities by 4 August. Once the cash is released, projects must be completed by 2026.

Halton’s executive board is being asked to approve the local assurance framework and to delegate authority to operational directors to sign off on business cases in line with the 4 August deadline, and agree and complete funding arrangements with partners on the various projects.

In one of the other key projects, Arcadis was last month appointed on the £6m+ Brindley expansion, with the professional team also including architect Ellis Williams, Curtins and TACE.

Designs were revealed for the enhancenent project, which will include a rleocated library within, in February.

Work has also started on the restoration of the listed 71 High Street as the first phase of the creative hub, with Warden working alongside Cassidy + Ashton.

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