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Ellesmere Port’s RGF Programme of Works on Target as Second Set of Major Works is Announced
11 March 2014 – Ellesmere Port’s RGF programme of works has entered the next phase as Cheshire West and Chester Council appoints Kier Group plc to carry out major improvements works designed to enhance Ellesmere Port’s M53 junctions.
Working alongside the Council’s highways contractor Ringway, the ambitious £2m project will see large-scale landscaping and clearing works, increased street lighting along key sections and the upgrading of roads around junctions 7, 8, 9 and 10.
The project will also see the introduction of a new pedestrian and cycleway along North Road and Overpool Road, which will link Port Bridgewater and the North Road Industrial area in to the 50km of green routes being developed around the town for employment and leisure purposes.
Designed to improve initial perceptions of the town, create a sense of pride and attract new investment, works have just begun and are expected to last eight weeks.
Chairman of the Ellesmere Port Development Board, Robert Mee, said: “Improving perceptions of the town for residents and visitors is one of the key objectives of the Ellesmere Port Development Board’s Strategic Regeneration Framework.
“The M53 is the gateway to Ellesmere Port and this ambitious project will go a long way towards that – the initial perceptions people gain when visiting the town are vitally important in attracting new investment and creating a sense of pride.
“This is the second RGF project we’ve been able to announce so far and it’s taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes against a difficult backdrop.
“We are making sure that we maximise our RGF funding to the full potential, for the benefit of the whole town.”
Following a successful bid for £6 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund by Ellesmere Port’s Development Board and Cheshire West and Chester Council, the works will play a part in helping to create over three thousand jobs in the town by supporting the growth of existing business and attracting major new investments.
RGF projects will include the construction and upgrading of roads, remediation of land, improved transport links and environmental improvements to help secure investments at Hooton Park, Port Bridge Water, the former Cabot Carbon site, New Port Business Park and the former BP Stanlow site.
Works announced in January regarding the first RGF project on New Bridge Road are now well underway and should be completed by September, and the Ellesmere Port team is continuing to identify new projects to benefit from funding.
Leader of the Council Mike Jones, said: “I am very excited at the success we are achieving in the regeneration of Ellesmere Port and the jobs being created by working with investors who now want to come to the town.
“The gateways to any town or city will always imprint a lasting impression on visitors and potential investors and attractive and well-managed transport links project a professional character for the area.
“This scheme, along with the others completed with our RGF funding, will help us create up to three thousand jobs across the town, with a further 1,600 indirect jobs in supporting the companies which could be based in Ellesmere Port.
“We are working very hard to unlock our RGF funding, with well-planned and well-designed projects which will undoubtedly create huge benefit for our residents and local businesses.
“The Council will continue to support any business interested in looking at investing in the town in any way we can, and see Ellesmere Port return to the vibrant and proud town it used to be many decades ago.”
The Regional Growth Fund is a £3.2billion fund nationally which supports projects and programmes that attract private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
Ellesmere Port has plans to generate £148million of private sector investment and create 3,000 direct jobs and 1,600 indirect jobs. The funding will facilitate enabling works such as infrastructure improvements.
Local member and Ellesmere Port Development Board member, Councillor Justin Madders, said: “The town’s location and good transport links are one of the positive reasons businesses look to locate in Ellesmere Port. By improving the motorway junctions we are sending a message to those passing through that this is a good place to live, work and invest in.
“Because of the tight deadlines imposed by Government on spending this money it is vitally important that these schemes come forward quickly and I am very pleased we seem to be performing rather better with this.
“Of course, there is a long way to go to convert these improvements into sustainable jobs for local people, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.”