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Building contractors Vinci Construction UK Limited will construct the new bus zone and hub on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Central Government have issued guidelines with regards to what works can and cannot be undertaken during the current lockdown. They have given clear advice that construction works are to be undertaken providing that the works are carried out in accordance with the Build UK SOP guidelines.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth said: “We are clearly in a very different environment with most businesses including construction, badly hit by the Coronavirus.
“Following the guidance from central Government that construction work can continue if the correct Covid-19 safety measures are in place, it is good news that this important public transport project in Ellesmere Port can now get underway.”
“Construction work plays an important role for the UK economy and can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible.”
The first phase of works involving the construction of the bus interchange will involve a small workforce of approximately 15 personnel. Due to the nature of the works Vinci are confident that they can meet the safety guidelines.
Vinci have also produced their own additional safety guidelines which are in force on all their sites.
Vinci Construction UK have most recently been involved with the conversion of the Manchester Central Convention Complex into a temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West in a joint venture with Sir Robert McAlpine.
Added Councillor Beacham: “The Hub will be a modern, energy efficient building and it is scheduled for completion in autumn 2021. As we look towards the economic and social recovery from Covid-19, and a future beyond the pandemic, this new hub will play a vital role in providing local people with easy access to essential public services including: community safety and crime prevention, housing support, welfare and benefits support, plus health and wellbeing. It’s also good news that Jobcentre will be joining the hub to enhance the employment, skills and learning guidance on offer for local residents.”
The Government’s Local Growth Fund, is funding half of the £16 million project through the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.
Clare Hayward MBE DL, Chair, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership said: “It’s great to see construction underway for the Bus Zone and Public Services Hub. It is an important step in the ongoing regeneration of Ellesmere Port town centre, helping to make it easier for people to work and shop in the town, when completed. Delivering construction projects at this time is an important part of restarting our economy and Vinci’s expertise will allow them to so in a measured and safe way.”
The new hub provides the most cost-effective solution to the provision of council services in the town when compared with the alternative of refurbishing Civic Way offices which will be demolished as part of the wider masterplan proposals. This space will then be made available for new housing for families and young professionals to live in the town.
Investment in Ellesmere Port over recent years includes the Cheshire College South and West Campus, the Ellesmere Port Church of England Academy and the Ellesmere Port Sports Village. There has been considerable investment in new housing in easy reach of the town centre (including Cromwell Road, Sutton Way, Thornton Road, McGarva Way, Rossfield Park and Ledsham Road).
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