The Mersey Gateway Project

Halton student joins the Merseylink team

August 31, 2014MerseylinkNews

A university student from Halton has become the latest addition to the Merseylink team.

Halton student Louise Cash joins the Merseylink team

Halton student Louise Cash joins the Merseylink team

Louise Cash, 20, has joined Merseylink, which is responsible for delivering the £600m new bridge project between Runcorn and Widnes, on a year-long paid internship as the project’s volunteer coordinator.

The construction consortium is seeking hundreds of volunteers to join the Mersey Gateway Project team. They will complement the thousands of direct and indirect jobs that will be created as a result of the project.

Louise, who is studying for a degree in Business Studies at Liverpool John Moores University, beat 27 other applicants to secure the internship with Merseylink.

Louise is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Mersey Gateway volunteer programme, which was set up to allow local people to tell the story of the bridge to both their own community and visitors from further afield.

Mersey Gateway volunteers are being trained to deliver a programme of talks, presentations and temporary exhibitions in local community centres, schools, and colleges. They will also work in the Mersey Gateway visitor centres, one of which is planned to be based in Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, and is due to open later this year, with the location of a Runcorn centre still to be finalised.

On a day-to-day basis, Louise will act as the main point of contact for volunteers, dealing with queries, providing inductions, organising rotas, coordinating educational visits and promoting the volunteer scheme.

Louise said: “As a local resident, I was aware of the Mersey Gateway Project so it’s exciting to actually be part of it and to be able to work on something so iconic. I’m really enjoying my role so far.”

Merseylink is working with the Halton Employment Partnership to market the training programme and volunteer opportunities to target groups within Halton. This includes: unemployed adults, adults facing redundancy, young people not in employment, education or training, disadvantaged groups and retired people.

Stephen Cardwell, Merseylink Project Construction Director said: “We’re delighted to welcome Louise to the team – she has an important role providing support to our volunteers and ensuring that the programme runs smoothly. Training a skilled group of volunteers to help support the delivery of community engagement activity is a key priority for Merseylink and our partners at Halton Borough Council.”

Cllr Rob Polhill, leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “The Mersey Gateway Project will deliver training, employment and enterprise opportunities to Halton’s communities during the three and a half year construction project. The volunteer programme is a great an example of this. It provides local people with access to training so they can improve their skills, supplement their CVs and gain valuable work experience to aid their employment prospects.”

Volunteers who sign up to the Mersey Gateway Volunteer Programme are enrolled onto a special training programme, which covers:

  • employability, customer service and presentation skills
  • history, aims and objectives of the project
  • local heritage
  • scope of the project – works, services and tolling
  • construction programme – length, phases, key milestones.

The training programme has been developed by Halton Employment Partnership and is accredited by Halton Borough Council.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the Mersey Gateway please email or contact Louise Cash on 07773 042982.

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.

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

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