Cheshire East Council has announced a package of projects that will see the regeneration of Crewe taking another major leap forward.
The council submitted a bid to the government’s Future High Streets Fund last summer and received a successful award in June this year. And now that the formal grant offer letter from government for £14.1m has been received, work on a variety of transformative projects can now progress.
It is further positive news for Crewe, which recently secured a ‘Town Deal’ and separate funding from government of £22.9m. This funding is allocated to deliver an additional set of projects to support the ongoing regeneration of the town.
Peter Skates, Cheshire East Council’s director of growth and enterprise, said: “Our successful bid to the Future High Streets Fund shows there is confidence in our vision for the town and surrounding area and means that we can begin to deliver on our plans – ensuring that residents and businesses continue to see real progress and that Crewe is a place where people want to live, work, socialise and do business.”
The Future High Streets Fund projects – which will now be subject to further discussions and, in some cases, planning permission – include plans to create a sustainable residential area in the heart of the town centre.
It would provide more than 90 affordable and quality homes for young people, families, and the elderly, which would give residents easy access to services – reducing their carbon footprint.
Nearby, there are plans to develop new high-quality public space for cultural and civic activities, and for a technology and digital innovation campus, which would help to attract more economic activity back into the town centre.
This would include the conversion of Christ Church into a new technology and digital focused co-working space.
Also now able to move ahead are plans for a sustainable energy network – powered by an air source heat pump at a new energy centre attached to the Lifestyle Centre.
Initially covering buildings in the civic and cultural quarter, this could expand to reduce the environmental impact of development across the town centre.
Four of the other projects focus on making the town centre more accessible and encouraging people to stay for longer.
A new off-road pedestrian link/cycle path would link Oak Street and Forge Street, via High Street.
While improving access into the town centre and to key facilities, including the Lifestyle Centre, it would also create a more attractive route for pedestrians and cyclists and encourage active travel.
The long-planned ‘Flag Lane link’ would improve access for vehicles travelling between the east and west of the town centre, connecting Dunwoody Way to Delamere Street, via Flag Lane.
Residents will be invited to attend a public exhibition on this project in the autumn.
Meanwhile, some of the funding is earmarked for the installation of state-of-the-art junction controls in the Wistaston Road, Edleston Road and Nantwich Road areas.
This project, which supports the council’s carbon agenda and sustainable and active travel programmes, also includes improvements to the junction of Nantwich Road and South Street.
Finally, funding has been earmarked to begin scheme development options to address congestion and improve cycling facilities between Memorial Square and Grand Junction Retail Park.
Mr Skates added: “We believe that these projects will tackle key challenges in the town and will be a catalyst for further growth and regeneration. We look forward to continuing work with our partners to develop opportunities as they arise.”
All projects are expected to be delivered by the end of 2024 and more details will be shared as they progress.