The Mersey Gateway Project

Bridge expertise to benefit Halton community

January 26, 2015adminNews

Halton schools and community groups are set to benefit from consultancy expertise from the Mersey Gateway Project.

A further ten local organisations will receive professional advice from Merseylink via the second round of its innovative Time Bank scheme.

The scheme was launched in May last year to provide practical help and support to the local community. It works by matching successful applicants with a relevant partner who can provide the skills and assistance required.

Merseylink’s expert teams and specialist sub-contractors will provide support for a range of projects (listed below). This will begin with an initial consultation with an industry expert to understand their project requirements.

Project list:

  1. Pewhitt Hall Primary School in Runcorn will receive digital support to build a web portal, which will host Mersey Gateway materials for all Halton schools to access.
  2. Daresbury and District Heritage Group is going to receive help to develop a website to tell the stories of local World War 1 veterans, which will link in with a project being run by the Imperial War Museum.
  3. Pupils from Ditton Primary School will interview members of the project team to find out what it’s like to work on a big construction site.
  4. Merseylink will provide a landscape architect to design plans for a sensory garden for St Michael’s Primary School in Widnes.
  5. Environment consultant RSK’s landscape architect is going draw up plans for Brunswick House retirement home in Runcorn so the home can transform a run down courtyard area into an outdoor haven for residents.
  6. Merseylink project team members will make up an expert panel for a Question Time event held at Wade Deacon High School in Widnes.
  7. Merseylink will also provide an expert to review business plans and offer consultancy advice to Beechwood Community Centre in Runcorn.
  8. Merseylink quantity surveyors will conduct a ground survey for Victoria Road Primary School in Runcorn, while design engineers will draft technical plans for a multifunctional play area.
  9. A ground survey and cost estimates will be provided to St Paul’s Church in Widnes, which is looking to build a corridor linking the church to its community centre.
  10. Merseylink partner, Scarisbrick Estates, is going to conduct a structural survey and provide cost estimates for the refurbishment of the Blue Hut Project community group in Widnes.

Merseylink is working with Halton Borough Council and Halton & St. Helens Voluntary and Community Action to ensure Time Bank is used effectively to secure clear and measurable community and regeneration benefits.

Richard Walker, project director for Merseylink, said: “We have a lot of highly experienced industry professionals working with us on the Mersey Gateway Project and the Time Bank initiative provides a great way for us to share this expertise. There are some fantastic projects coming through the scheme and we are delighted to be able to offer our support in a sustainable way that will benefit the local community for many years to come.”

Cllr Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council and chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board said: “I’m delighted to see that more local schools and community groups across Halton will be receiving help from Merseylink. This is exactly why the Time Bank scheme was set up and I hope to see more organisations applying for support in the future.”

The next round of Time Bank applications will run from 6 April 2015 to 4 May 2015.

For more information about the Merseylink Time Bank contact Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skills Coordinator, on 07773 806270 or email

The economic, transport and social benefits the project will bring to the region include:

  • 470 permanent full-time equivalent jobs on site during construction
  • 4,640 permanent direct and indirect jobs
  • £61.9 million a year in Gross Value Added from the new jobs by 2030.

When it opens in 2017, both the new bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free* to all Halton residents.

About Merseylink Time Bank

How it works:

  • the Merseylink Time Bank acts as a way for its experienced teams of experts and suppliers to give their time to commit to helping local organisations
  • each of its partner organisations and major suppliers will offer an amount of time as their deposit
  • these time deposits can be used to provide real, practical support to those who need it.

Merseylink has made a commitment to provide a minimum of 100 days each year to the Time Bank scheme. Opportunities such as mentoring, coaching, fundraising or presentation skills aimed at young people or jobseekers are also available.

Partners and major companies participating in Merseylink Time Bank are:

  • Macquarie Capital
  • FCC Construccion
  • BBGI
  • Kier Infrastructure & Overseas Ltd
  • Samsung C&T Corporation
  • Sanef S.A
  • Flint & Neill
  • URS Infrastructure & Environment UK
  • RSK
  • Scarisbrick Estates
  • DTW
  • Adept4 IT
  • Tarmac Lafarge.

Successful applicants to receive support from the first round of Time Bank were: Daresbury Primary School, West Bank Community Centre, Riverside College, Milner Church Institute and Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust.

Halton Borough Council is also receiving support for two regeneration projects, which will bring about environmental, social and economic benefits for the local community.

Halton Borough Council Mersey Link

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Mersey Gateway Project