Cheshire East Council pushes ahead with town’s regeneration plans
12 November 2020
Cheshire East Council has approved a number of interventions that will help to realise ambitious plans for Crewe and push forward with the town’s regeneration.
At the recent meeting of cabinet, members agreed to the development and delivery of a programme of interventions that will allow the council to move forward with plans to transform the town, which will unlock economic, environmental and social benefits to Crewe’s communities and wider area.
Councillor Sam Corcoran, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This council is committed to the regeneration of Crewe to boost the local area’s economy and enable residents to lead successful, healthy and happy lives.
“As we continue to feel the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, pushing ahead with our plans now and making decisions without delay is critical in kick-starting the local economy.
“The projects related to the interventions discussed by cabinet follow in the footsteps of other major projects realised in Crewe – including the Lifestyle Centre and University Technical College – moving another step closer to realising this council’s ambition to unlock the delivery of £180 million of investment into the town’s regeneration.”
Part of the proposals discussed relate to the council’s Future High Street Fund bid. The council submitted a bid for £20m of capital funding to support a number of projects.
Four of the projects included in the council’s ‘Future High Streets Fund’ application focus on making Crewe town centre more accessible and encouraging people to stay for longer:
- Improving links between the town centre Grand Junction Retail Park;
- A new pedestrian/cycle link from Mill Street to the civic and cultural quarter (Lifestyle Centre / Christ Church / Memorial Square);
- A new highway link from Dunwoody Way to Flag Lane; and
- New investment in digital infrastructure to support the use of adaptive signals and smart parking measures to improve traffic flow.
The other proposals are:
- New in-town living – residential developments across three sites that meet the needs of local people;
- Further enhancements to the development of a new state-of-the-art history centre;
- The creation of two new workspaces to help new/early-stage technology businesses to establish and grow; and
- The creation of a new sustainable energy network, initially linking public buildings to improve energy performance and drive down its cost.
Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “These are exciting times for Crewe and so much has already been achieved.
“We want to see it grow to become a town of national significance and these proposals show how we as a council are working to realise that ambition.
“By providing authority to officers to progress these projects it will allow us to act and respond swiftly so that we are that one step closer towards revitalising Crewe and the surrounding area.”
If successful, the proposals will be subject to further discussions and planning permission.
Meanwhile, Crewe has been selected as one of 101 towns to put forward a bid for up to £25m of funding from the government’s Towns Fund, which will be available to spend up to 2026 and support the town’s long-term economic growth.
A Town Board for Crewe – which includes representatives from Crewe’s civic and business community – has been set up to oversee the development of a bid for this funding opportunity.
Cabinet members agreed to delegate authority to Cllr Mannion, who sits on this board, to act on the recommendations of the board and submit the eventual bid to government.
They also agreed to delegate authority to the executive director – place, Frank Jordan, to accept £750,000 accelerated funding from the Towns Fund for an improvement scheme developed by the Crewe Cultural Forum for the Lyceum Square.
The project named ‘Ly2’ seeks to bring physical enhancements to Lyceum Square and its adjoining areas, creating a space to be used for a wide range of regular events and cultural activities.
Cllr Mannion said: “Much work is being done by Crewe Town Board, in consultation with communities and leaders across the town, to develop a vision and strategy that will shape Crewe’s transformation over the coming years.
“The potential benefits that a successful bid could bring to Crewe are significant and the funding would allow us to deliver a variety of capital projects.”
More on the bid for funding will be released in the coming weeks.
The council has also reviewed its plans in relation to the Crewe hub station, which has led to a revised scheme which will still see the full vision delivered but in phases.
The initial phase of the proposed scheme will focus on the area immediately surrounding the Crewe hub station and will include:
- Enhancements to Nantwich Road Bridge including the delivery of new pedestrian and cycle bridge decks to improve links between the station and town centre and promotion of active travel;
- Delivery of a new interchange on Weston Road to provide enhanced facilities for taxis, pick-up and drop off and with the potential to incorporate buses;
- Delivery of a new multi-storey car park on Weston Road to replace the existing surface level car park and cater for HS2 passenger growth at Crewe; and
- Delivery of highway access improvements comprising of a series of junction improvements on the immediate road network serving the hub.
Cabinet members agreed to approve the proposed revisions to the delivery approach for the Crewe hub station scheme and authorised its executive director – place, Frank Jordan to progress it, ahead of further approvals being sought from cabinet at a later date.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “The arrival of HS2 to Crewe is an important component of delivering our future ambitions for Crewe and the surrounding area.“
Moving forward with a phased approach now presents the best option in the current climate and will help us to achieve our ultimate aim of transforming the town into something that is fit for the future.”