Halton Borough Council’s ambitious plans for the regeneration of Astmoor Industrial Estate took a step nearer recently when Executive Board Members approved the adoption of the Astmoor Five-year Regeneration Masterplan.
Astmoor, in Runcorn, has been identified as one of eight regeneration impact areas across the borough – these are places where the Mersey Gateway and the reconfigured road network will unlock land for new development opportunity and reposition the area for growth.
To maximise the local economic benefits of the new crossing, the Council has produced a ten-year physical regeneration plan. This plan seeks to build on the existing strengths and assets of the local area to continue the physical regeneration and transformation of Halton and further enhance the economic offer.
Following the appointment of a consortium of property, highways and inclusive growth specialists led by urban designers and architects BDP, an extensive consultation process with stakeholders ensued to help develop a shared vision for Astmoor.
The resulting masterplan sets out a cohesive package of development and investment opportunities that also includes four ‘hand back’ sites currently available for development following the completion of the Mersey Gateway, and identifies key infrastructure and place-making projects that the Council is looking to bring forward to support growth on Astmoor.
Following the approval of the masterplan Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for the Physical Environment, Cllr Ron Hignett, said:
“In these difficult times with so much uncertainty, it is even more important that the Council maintains its ambitions around growth and prosperity and demonstrates its commitment by developing modern, sustainable employment areas that can compete with other similar large industrial estates within the Liverpool City Region.
“The transformation of Astmoor into a modern business park, together with its superb location adjacent to the Mersey Gateway with great connectivity to the M56, and M62, will be a catalyst for new investment and a driver for local economic prosperity with potential to support the creation of 2,000 new jobs and safeguarding many more.”
The masterplan recognises that Astmoor already benefits from an active and engaged business community being a Business Improvement District (BID) since 2008. The BID is managed by Halton Chamber of Commerce and presents strong foundations for stakeholder engagement and delivering business led regeneration.
Rachael Owen, Chief Executive of Halton Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise, added:
“All Astmoor-based BID businesses are already very invested in the estate’s success and so welcome the prospect of a great working environment, fit for the future, as well as the opportunities that come with effective infrastructure and a well-designed industrial park. It’s been a very challenging time for many of our BID business and so we’re delighted that the resilience, commitment and passion Astmoor businesses demonstrate daily, is to be reflected across the estate as a result of this Masterplan.”
The Executive Board report concluded that the Council will now proceed to develop a disposal strategy for the four handback sites, as well as engaging with Astmoor businesses to agree the refurbishment of Astmoor Road, with work planned to start on site in the spring of 2021.
The Astmoor Regeneration Masterplan, Delivery Strategy and video presentation are available to view on Halton Borough Council’s website on the following link: https://www3.halton.gov.uk/Pages/business/regen/regen.aspx
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