The Mersey Gateway Project

Community groups can apply for free expert advice with Merseylink scheme

April 2, 2015LornaNews

Community groups and local organisations in Halton have a new opportunity to apply for thousands of pounds worth of free consultancy services, thanks to an innovative scheme set up by Merseylink.

Merseylink – the construction consortium that is building the Mersey Gateway Bridge and associated road network – is launching the second phase of its popular ‘Time Bank’ scheme.

The initiative, which runs for a month starting next Monday (April 6), aims to help local groups and organisations by providing free consultancy services for community projects.

Successful applicants will be matched with Merseylink’s own industry experts, who will provide the relevant professional advice and support they require.

Schools, colleges, churches, community centres and local community interest groups are all eligible to apply for a range of expert advice, including scoping works for new playgrounds, landscaping, the development of business plans and digital communications projects, to name a few.

The next round of Time Bank opens next Monday (April 6) and runs until May 4, so groups and organisations are advised to get their applications in soon.

Neil Wilcock, Employment and Skills Coordinator at Merseylink, said: “We are proud to be able to harness the huge amount of expertise from our project team and share this to enable community projects get off the ground and develop.

“The type of work we are delivering can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds in the open market. By doing it as part of a time bank commitment, we are saving local groups vital funds.”

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.

How the Merseylink Time Bank 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.

Council Leader Rob Polhill, Chair of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, said: “The Time Bank scheme is designed to give something back to the community, both in terms of financial savings and expertise, so I hope a lot of groups in Halton take advantage and apply for assistance. It could make a huge difference and could even help them to get new projects off the ground.”

You can apply to the Time Bank scheme through the Time Bank section on this site.

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 of the Mersey Gateway project 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 the bridge opens in 2017, both the new crossing and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but they will be free* to all Halton residents. 

The 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.
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