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Leader's Blog - May 2018

Warrington continues to go from strength to strength as we grow and thrive as the real engine room of the northern economy.

It has just been announced that the final plot of industrial space on the Omega site will be completed this year. Mountpark Logistics are on site building their speculative development comprising three units which are set for completion in December this year. This is the final available industrial plot on Omega which will bring the total floorspace created to nearly 4.5 million square feet.

Meanwhile the first and second phases of the residential development are now well under way with developments by Miller Homes of 200 houses on a 15-acre plot and Redrow Homes 250 dwellings on a 22-acre plot. The work on the infrastructure around Junction 8 of the M62 will obviously cause us some short-term pain but that work will pay off when the housing is built and the industrial units are operating full time.

I am very pleased that planning consent has been granted for a £6m Youth Zone to be built within the Stadium Quarter. The project will be delivered by national young people’s charity OnSide and Warrington Youth Club who will create a 33,000 sq ft facility, to offer affordable activities in sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring to young people aged from eight to 19, or up to 25 for those with a disability, every day of the week.

While on the subject of young people it was good to see students from Myerscough College visiting Walton Hall Gardens as part of their courses. Walton Hall works in partnership with the college and a new learning centre is being constructed at the site.

As you will all have seen, work continues at a considerable pace on Time Square with much of the steelwork now up for the cinema block. It’s a very impressive structure already and will look fantastic when it’s all completed.

The Time Square Multi Storey Car park was also shortlisted for BBC North West Tonight's 'People's Choice Building of the Decade Award' – although people wouldn’t necessarily think of a car park being iconic – it is a great piece of functional design and celebrates the old wire industry of our town which is incorporated in the building’s cladding design. The offer of three hours free parking provided tickets are validated at Warrington Market has proven to be a success both for the Market and users of the car park.

We’re not just about car travel though. Our new Clean Air Action Plan will focus on sustainable transport, encouraging cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, new cycling and walking links, and an intelligent transport system.

Town centre businesses voted in favour of having a Business Improvement District (BID) with a strong majority of 68%. More than 400 businesses were asked to approve the five year £1.8million private sector led investment which will be delivered from the 1st August 2018. Setting up a BID creates funding that will lead to the provision of activities, projects and services that will make the town centre more economically vibrant, safer, cleaner and greener. Re-populating our Town Centre to ensure we have a vibrant and diverse offer with Time Square being the catalyst.