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Linking the Locks
The Coastal Communities Fund was set up by government to provide funding to local schemes that will experience regeneration and economic growth through projects that directly or indirectly create sustainable jobs.
Following a successful joint bid to the Coastal Communities Fund by Warrington Borough Council, Halton Borough Council and the Sankey Canal Restoration Society (SCARS) a total of £654,000 has been secured.
Delivered by Warrington & Co., Warrington’s partnership for growth, Linking the Locks supports businesses along the stretch of the Sankey Canal between Spike Island in Widnes, through Fiddler’s Ferry Marina and up to the Sankey Bridges area within Warrington which runs parallel to the Mersey Estuary and will include the surrounding business parks and industrial areas adjacent to the Canal.
Established in 1757, the Sankey Canal was Britain’s first canal of the Industrial Revolution built to bring coal down to the growing chemical industries of Liverpool. These rapidly expanded and spread back along the canal to St Helens and Widnes which were small villages until this period. The canal therefore has a long history and was instrumental in the growth of the region and shaping the local economy for centuries to come.
In its final years of use the canal was used to transport raw sugar from Liverpool to the Sankey Sugar Works at Earlestown. The ending of sugar traffic in 1959 led to the closure of the canal in 1963.
Unusually, the Sankey Canal is not the responsibility of the Canal & River Trust who generally own and manage Britain’s canals, as such it has missed out on the general protection and regeneration the Trust provides. The resultant negative impacts on the local community, environment and businesses support the need for this project.
What will the project bring to business?
Supporting businesses with apprentice recruitment:
+ Working closely with employers to identify apprenticeship opportunities
+ Sourcing suitable candidates
+ Supporting businesses with accessing funding for Wage Costs – allowing businesses to offer a minimum apprentice wage of at least £5.00 per hour, over and above the Apprentice Minimum Wage rate of £3.50 per hour to attract and retain the right candidates
Replacement of the Marsh House Bridge with a permanent, movable bascule bridge improving access to and from the Riverside Trading Estate, Fiddler’s Ferry. The installation of the new bridge has helped to safeguard jobs and businesses located in the area and will act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.
Linking: Signage and Branding
Installation of clearer, more uniform signage to business sites to improve the appearance and support new business opportunities
Linking: Business Support
Working with local partners to support company growth, assisting with business needs and identifying relevant support schemes
Both Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council successfully support businesses of all sizes with their recruitment needs, providing support with Vacancy Advertising, Candidate Sourcing and Placement