Widnes draft to be revised

Taylor Young has been commissioned to update the masterplan for an 80ha former industrial area in south Widnes that will create more than 2,700 jobs.

The company has been appointed by Widnes Waterfront Regeneration to revise the blueprint, which was first developed in 2004. The site has already been transformed with 26,480m2 of office and industrial space, with plans for a £10 million leisure complex in hand.

The waterfront is one of 14 designated economic development zones in the North West. It will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Halton Borough Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

The council's deputy leader Rob Polhill said: "Widnes Waterfront has moved on considerably since the first masterplan. Now is a good time to look at what we have achieved and decide how to go forward."

Taylor Young will look at ways to use the remaining undeveloped sites, taking the programme up to 2013. It will be supported by the BE Group on economic development issues and Faber Maunsell on ground conditions, transportation and flood risk.

Taylor Young director Jim Fox said: "Even in the current credit crunch, Widnes Waterfront has the potential in the medium to long term to be an exciting riverside employment and leisure-led area. It will build on successes already achieved and the huge potential offered by proposals for the Mersey Gateway crossing immediately to the west."

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