‘Linking the Locks’, funded by the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) is now in its second year supporting businesses along the Sankey Canal and is firmly established within Warrington and Widnes with a wide network of delivery partners, referral agents, engaged employers and community groups, that report to the Coastal Community Team (CCT). The CCT is a partnership steering group with representatives from Warrington Borough Council, Halton Borough Council and the Sankey Canal Restoration Society.
Over the past two years, ‘Linking the Locks’ Project Officer Jonathan Aghanian and the team at Warrington & Co have assisted 61 local businesses supporting them with recruitment, training and development as part of the Coastal Communities Fund project.
Local SME’s and micro-businesses have received financial assistance from CCF to bring forward their workforce development plans to offer 27 young people apprenticeships leading to permanent positions. Owing to the diverse nature of businesses located along the route of the Sankey Canal, a wide variety of business sectors have been supported, including; construction, warehousing & logistics, floristry, telecommunications, leisure & retail, health & social care, animal care, hair & beauty and the Third Sector. “An excellent scheme that has benefitted our company and staff.” D & E Associates Ltd, Widnes.
The project’s success has led to other full time permanent jobs being created in roles such as: a Trainee Draughtsman, a Marketing Executive, a Deputy Nursey Manager, a Trainee Project Manager and an Office Manager.
9 Young people took part in a Princes Trust Programme, working with Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside on a project at Sankey Bridges, 3 of these young people have since gained employment and 4 have progressed to college.
66 Volunteers have taken part in community projects from November 2015 to January 2016, also receiving training in Emergency First Aid, Health & Safety and Level 1 Employability Skills.
The replacement of Marsh House Bridge was also funded by Coastal Communities Fund.