New Growth Deal Great For The Region
By Gary Halman
Today’s announcement (7th July 2014) by the Government of the new Growth Deal for the Cheshire and Warrington LEP is good news for key projects in the region
Of particular interest is the investment in Life Sciences to be made through the newly created Life Science Investment Fund intended to support new investment in this hugely important sector in the North West. The £20m Fund will be instrumental in encouraging new start-ups and spin outs following Astra Zeneca’s vacation in 2016 of the Alderley Park site, where HOW is providing strategic planning and environmental advice to new owners Manchester Science Parks Ltd.
This announcement will give further impetus to MSP’s exciting plans for the site and will help support the transformation of Alderley Park from a single user campus to a world class, multi occupied Life Sciences Park in an amazing setting.
The Growth Deal also lends specific support to highway improvements in West Warrington, helping to ensure land at Omega and Lingley Mere- where Muse is developing the Lingley Mere Business Park in joint venture with United Utilities (also advised by HOW) - and where a wider mix of land uses including residential is now in prospect.
In Cheshire the announcement commits £45m to important new infrastructure at Congleton, to help deliver the Congleton Link Road, required to support major new housing and employment aspirations to the north of the town. Here HOW is advising major landowners of part of this scheme;
For too long Congleton has been in need of strategic new road links to help open up its potential. This announcement is a massive boost for the town, and will be warmly welcomed by Cheshire East which has identified Congleton for super charged growth in its draft Local Plan.
The specific commitment by the LEP Board to help local authorities in the Cheshire boroughs and Warrington to support delivery of housing allocated in local plans is important given the need for a step change in house building, to help address the backlog which has built up, especially in affordable housing. Cheshire East in particular has plans for a large number of strategic scale housing sites. Whilst many will be driven hard by landowners and developers, having support from the LEP working in partnership with the local authority will help get these areas from drawing board to development with the minimum of delay.