Warrington has set out ambitious plans to deliver a number of transformational projects, aimed at improving health and wellbeing and boosting sustainable transport, across the borough.
The council has submitted three bids, totalling almost £47million, for Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund, introduced by the government to support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.
While bid 1 focuses on leisure and the arts, Bid 2 focuses on ‘Reconnecting the settlements’ of Warrington North, with three new active travel routes implemented to improve traffic-free links between the rural settlements of Burtonwood, Winwick and Culcheth and urban Warrington.
The routes would encourage modal shift and active lifestyles, helping improve the health and wellbeing of local people, as well as bringing environmental benefits.
Bid 3 focuses on active transport and the council’s ‘First and Last mile’ Connectivity Plan. It covers an east to west corridor through the centre of the urban area of Warrington, with the first and last mile approaches to the retail and commercial town centre at its heart.
The project would remove barriers to movement along this strategically important spine route of the borough’s cycle network, providing high quality and fully segregated facilities to allow safer and more direct walking and cycling journeys to take place to and from the town centre.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “Our Levelling Up bids highlight the level of ambition within Warrington and our aspirations to build stronger, healthier and better connected communities. We want to create a future where people have the skills employers want, where sport and the arts are accessible for all and where people can benefit from a range of active travel options.
“This funding would give us a great opportunity to deliver a number of significant projects which would make a real difference to people’s lives. We are pleased to be working closely with both of the town’s MPs on these projects and we’re grateful for their ongoing support.”
Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, said: “Our Levelling Up Round 2 bid shows how ambitious we are in our plans to drive up the quality of people’s lives by delivering transformational projects across our communities.
“The schemes we are proposing would bring huge benefits to many people, throughout Warrington, for years to come, encouraging more people to participate in sports and the arts, improving physical health and mental wellbeing, and encouraging individual, social, and community development.
“I’m hopeful that the government will share in our ambitions and we will be successful in securing this vital funding.”