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Wednesday 15 April 2015

Council secures key support for Crewe and Middlewich regeneration plans


Cheshire East Council is set to join forces with the company that owns the UK’s railway land in order to draw up a regeneration plan for Crewe and Middlewich.

London and Continental Railways Limited (LCR) has offered to support the Council’s efforts to develop a growth strategy based on Crewe becoming the location for a hub station on the proposed HS2 high-speed rail network.

LCR, controlled by the Department for Transport, specialises in the management, development and disposal of railway property assets, in particular where they are associated with major infrastructure projects.

The Council’s Cabinet will be asked next week to approve the signing of an agreement to work with LCR on the regeneration plan for Crewe and Middlewich, which will involve identifying strategic sites closed to the proposed station. A joint venture could also be set up to secure funding and acquire land to assemble development sites.

The two organisations would also work on an inward investment strategy targeting the private sector and partner with other government agencies.

Cabinet is being asked to release £200,000 from the existing budget allocation for Crewe High Growth City to fund work on the regeneration plan.

Caroline Simpson, Cheshire East Council’s executive director of economic growth and prosperity, said: “Even though the Crewe HS2 hub station isn’t confirmed, the offer of support to the Council is very welcome.

“Having the insight and experience of LCR is extremely attractive and they would bring direct access to key government departments and agencies.”

Cheshire East Council has campaigned for the past four years to secure the hub station, resulting in a recommendation by HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins that the station should be built at Crewe by 2026, much earlier than originally envisaged.

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