Mersey Gateway team welcomes infrastructure projects announcement
The team behind the Mersey Gateway Project has welcomed the Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s confirmation today that the project will qualify for government funding under the UK Guarantee Scheme.
Danny Alexander MP this morning highlighted Mersey Gateway as one of the key projects in line to benefit from the scheme.
Steve Nicholson, Mersey Gateway Project Director, said: “We’re very pleased with today’s news as it shows that government continues to recognise the benefits that Mersey Gateway can bring to the north west. This project is in the front line of the national infrastructure plan and an important component of the government’s growth strategy.
“The UK Guarantee Scheme helps to build capacity in the project finance market, which will support the robustness of funding proposals for Mersey Gateway as we move to deliver financial close. For final tender purposes we gave all three shortlisted bidders access to the UK Guarantee Scheme for up to 50% of the senior debt required to fund the project.”
The centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project is a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project, which will bring major estimated economic, transport and social benefits to the region, including:
- 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,
- quicker journey times by up to 10 minutes in peak periods, and
- an improvement in journey time reliability
Halton Borough Council, which is promoting the project, last week announced the appointment of the Merseylink consortium as the preferred bidder on the project as part of a procurement process which has saved tens of millions of pounds on the £2billion lifetime cost of the scheme.
You can find out more about the Mersey Gateway Project at www.merseygateway.co.uk.
The Mersey Gateway Project will be one of the largest infrastructure initiatives in the UK over the coming years. Earlier this year Mersey Gateway was identified as one of the UK government’s Top 40 priority projects in the National Infrastructure Plan and it has been recognised by KPMG as one of the ‘Top 100 infrastructure projects around the globe’.
Its centrepiece is a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project, which is expected to help create thousands of new jobs, secure inward investment to the area and deliver important regeneration benefits. The new bridge is scheduled to open in 2017.
The value of the construction phase of the project, including land, is estimated at £600 million. The total project costs/revenues over the next 30 years are estimated at around £2 billion.
*The estimated permanent jobs figures are calculated as a result of the operation of the Mersey Gateway and associated regeneration activity and inward investment.