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Tuesday 21 December 2010

All Change For Crewe – regeneration plans take big step forward


Cheshire East Council has given the green light to new moves to make an ambitious vision for the regeneration of Crewe a reality.

The authority’s Cabinet this week (Monday, December 20) backed steps to appoint a ‘Delivery Executive’ and partnership board to drive the exciting development forward.

It follows last month’s historic signing of a ‘Concordat’ by the leaders of the local Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties – and the Mayor of Crewe – in a public show of joint support for moves to turn Crewe and the surrounding area into an ‘economic powerhouse’ by 2031.

Over the past year, consultants appointed to advise the Council, working with key stakeholders, have identified what they believe needs to be done to ‘unlock’ the huge potential of the town and surrounding area and turn it into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy. This vision is called ‘All Change for Crewe’.

Now Cheshire East is seeking to appoint – or partner with – a talented and commercially-minded Delivery Executive.

This person, or body, will lead and drive forward schemes for regeneration, development and growth and ensure they are delivered effectively. He, or she, will also be accountable for evaluation and monitoring of this important strategic project.

It has become very clear over recent months that local people want to see early action on a number of important developments in Crewe.

In these tough economic times, the Council feels it is imperative to harness the energy and expertise of the private sector to make the vision a reality.

The Council is working with key stakeholders and partners to turn the town and surrounding area into a leading player in Britain’s 21st century economy.

Cheshire East Council Leader Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald said: “The recent signing of a historic Concordat demonstrated the determination across the main political parties of the Council to achieve an ambitious and lasting regeneration of Crewe.

“Now the Council has agreed to move forward with the steps to help make this vision a reality.”

Cllr Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Following the public consultation, there’s clearly huge support for the priorities that we have identified.

“As partners, we recognise that assertive leadership will be needed to propel projects into effective delivery.

“It is critical at this point to engage the skills, expertise and drive of the private sector to deliver our growth ambitions, including the delivery of a new rail gateway, Basford regional employment sites and redevelopment of the town centre.”

Consultants have identified how the Council and other partner agencies can unlock what they see as the tremendous potential of Crewe over the next 20 years.

The focus is on increasing economic productivity and performance, which is underpinned by five key strategic themes which are to:

● Radically improve strategic transport links and create a state-of-the-art broadband internet network;

● Develop a more diversified ‘knowledge economy’ that attracts and keeps hi-tech firms and skilled workers;

● Enhance the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to live and work – including boosting schools and local transport and expanding the town’s population;

● Develop key underutilised sites – including the Basford East investment site, Crewe rail station and the town centre;

● Improve the town’s public image and leadership.

A revamped Crewe train station and town centre and the completion of the Crewe Green Link Road will be at the heart of several major projects planned to revitalise the town and the surrounding region. Other priority schemes identified include the development of Basford, the expansion of house building projects and a ‘next generation’ broadband network for Crewe.

These would build on substantial projects already completed or underway to improve the attractiveness of Crewe as a place to work and live – such as the £1.7m refurbishment of Lyceum Square and the £6.5m ongoing restoration of Queens Park.

Attracting more educated, skilled and ambitious workers to Crewe would boost the economy and be central to plans for the town to become a dynamic regional centre in the next 20 years. The aim is to increase the economy by £850m per year by 2031.

Cheshire East held several weeks of public engagement events and provided an online questionnaire to seek the public’s views on what the priorities for the regeneration of Crewe should be. The consultation ended on December 6.

For further information about All Change For Crewe, visit the Council’s website at

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