The Coastal Communities Fund has announced that a £654,000 grant will be awarded jointly to Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council in order to sustain and facilitate economic growth on the section of the Sankey Canal that exists between Widnes and Warrington.
The successful partnership funding bid was made by the two local authorities in conjunction with the Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS). It will finance a new, permanent Marsh House Bridge for the Riverside Trading Estate, create apprenticeships and training opportunities and improve marketing, signage and branding in order to protect and grow existing businesses and help create new ones along the Sankey Canal.
Twelve apprenticeships will be created along with two direct jobs and, it is anticipated, up to a further 23 indirect jobs.
Wider than the current temporary bridge and its predecessor, the new Marsh House Bridge will be a lift bridge which can be opened for water traffic as and when the aspiration to clean and open up the canal to the west of the bridge is realised. The council is also contributing £225,000 capital funding to the grant sum to enable high quality bridge to be installed.
Cllr Linda Dirir, executive board member for highways, transportation and climate change at Warrington Borough Council, said:
“I am proud that our joint funding bid has been successful. Our historic Sankey Canal has been a neglected asset and this funding this will give us the opportunity to work with our colleagues at Halton to maximise its potential to create and enhance employment and leisure opportunities.
“It is great news that we can now look to deliver a permanent solution to the issue of Marsh House Bridge. As soon as the grant is formally made available we can work on a programme of construction to build the new bridge that minimises disruption to businesses.”
Cllr Ron Hignett, Halton Borough Council\'s executive board member for the physical environment, said: “This is excellent news and a prime example of partnership working between two local authorities and a community lead organisation. This will bring important regeneration to Halton.”