£20m sought to improve railways across borderlands region

November 23, 2020

Local authority leaders across North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 Partnership are seeking £20 million in seedcorn funding from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in this week’s Spending Review to develop rail improvement schemes in the borderlands region vital for future prosperity.

Writing to Rishi Sunak MP on behalf of local authorities and business organisations in the Alliance, its Chair – Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester – and Vice Chair – Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire – urge the Chancellor to “seize the opportunity to strengthen the Union, generate inclusive economic growth, promote sustainable transport and reduce carbon emissions by making modest seedcorn investments in three well-developed cross-border rail modernisation schemes in North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire.”

Councillors Gittins and Roberts go on to say, “Just £20m of development funding over the next three years would enable Growth Track 360’s constituent members and their partners to make decisive, tangible progress with these projects during the lifetime of the present Parliament”.

The projects prioritised by Growth Track 360 for seedcorn funding are North Wales Coast Mainline: Expanding Overseas and British Tourism Sustainably in an Area of Extraordinary Beauty and Wrexham to Liverpool Transformation: Twenty-First Century Travel in a Corridor of World Class Industries.

Councillor Gittins said:“Working cross-border and cross-party, political and business leaders across North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester want to build back better from the pandemic to achieve a greener, low-carbon future of sustainable prosperity for all our communities and citizens.

"The modest seedcorn funding we are seeking from the Chancellor will enable us to move these three key rail improvement schemes to the final stage of development and deliver within the lifetime of the current Parliament.”