The Mersey Gateway Project

Bridge project experts share knowledge with Halton students

February 16, 2015LornaNews
Riverside College ML Timebank 1

From left to right: Jayne Smith (Riverside College), Neil Wilcock (Merseylink), Chris Taylor (DTW), Louise Cash (Merseylink), Sally Littler (Merseylink), Paul Talbot (Adept4)

Students from a Halton college are being given the chance to hear from industry experts working on the Mersey Gateway Project.

A series of four educational workshops has been organised by bridge-builder Merseylink for students at Riverside College in Widnes.

The construction consortium is responsible for building the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the associated 9.2km of road network. It has organised the workshops via its innovative Time Bank scheme, which was set up in May last year to provide local community organisations with access to free, professional support and advice.

Hundreds of students at the college will now get to hear directly from the Mersey Gateway’s project team and its expert partners and suppliers.

These include from the Construction Joint Venture: highways specialist Lafarge Tarmac, engineering consultancy Flint & Neill, PR agency DTW, and IT contractor Adept4. The Project Company shareholders are providing an insight into Accountancy and Project Finance, presented by Macquarie Capital.

The workshops are being held at the college’s Central Stage Theatre and involve presentations on the following areas: bridge design and engineering, traffic management, health and safety, ecology and the environment, finance and investment, PR and communications, HR and IT. A question and answer session takes place after each presentation.

Merseylink has been working closely with Riverside College to ensure that the workshops link in with the national curriculum and contribute to student’s studies.

Jayne Smith, Head of Skills and Enterprise at Riverside College, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear first hand from industry experts about the skills and career opportunities available through the Mersey Gateway Project and in the wider job market.”

James Baker, HND Computer Systems student said: “It really made me think about the different career choices available on the project. There were some areas of IT that I hadn’t even considered before the presentation.”

Richard Walker, Project Director at Merseylink, said: “We’re delighted to be able to share our experience with local students and provide them with information to help them with their studies. We’ve designed these workshops to give a real insight into the huge variety of skills and expertise needed for a construction project of this scale.”

Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council and Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “This is a great example of how Merseylink’s Time Bank initiative is benefitting the local community. It’s not every day that you get to hear from industry professionals of this level. This is a unique opportunity for local young people to learn more about our new bridge.”

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.

You can find out more about the project at

*Residents of Halton will still need to register to use the bridges and there will be a small charge for this.


Skip to content