Team appointed to prepare five-year masterplan for Runcorn industrial estate

Astmoor Industrial Estate

A multi-disciplinary team – led by town planners, urban designers, and architects from BDP – has been appointed by Halton Council to draw up a five year masterplan and delivery strategy to guide the regeneration of Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn.

Built as part of the development of Runcorn New Town, the estate is home to a number of thriving businesses, but parts of the estate are dated in design and appearance, and the estate is not realising its full potential.

The Mersey Gateway Bridge passes over the estate on elevated piers and the prominence and accessibility of Astmoor to the strategic highway network has been raised significantly by the new bridge, which opened in 2017.

Construction was enabled through the relocation and clearance of a central area and there are approximately seven hectares of residual land set to be handed back to the council in 2019.

BDP are assisted by commercial property consultancy JLL, Curtins highway engineers, and social value experts EKOSGEN.

The specialist team are supporting the council and its partner, the Astmoor Business Improvement District (BID), in defining a transformational shared vision to secure the long-term future and prosperity of Astmoor as a ‘stand out’ business location.

The masterplan and delivery strategy will define a portfolio of development and investment opportunities and a five-year plan to guide regeneration activity.

Francis Glare, principal at BDP said: “We look forward to working closely with Halton Borough Council and Astmoor Business Improvement District on this important study.

“HBC was clear that they wanted a consultant team that can bring best practice, innovative ideas, and a strong commercial awareness.

“We have put together a specialist team with extensive experience in business parks, research, and science parks, and of relevant building typologies who will collaborate with key stakeholders to deliver a credible masterplan and delivery strategy.”

Halton Council’s executive board member for the physical environment, Cllr Ron Hignett, said: “The masterplan is being produced to help maximise the local economic benefits of Mersey Gateway Project.

“The new bridge has the potential to act as a catalyst for the transformation of Astmoor into a modern business park and employment area.

“The council wants the masterplan to be a shared vision for the regeneration of Astmoor and there will be opportunities for the local business community, potential investors, and residents to comment on, and help develop, our plans.”

Speaking on behalf of the Astmoor Business Improvement District, Joanne Taylor BID manager, said: “The BID is delighted and very excited to be supporting the council, to provide a strong voice for Astmoor businesses.

“We remain focused on their needs, whilst we look to assist in the delivery of a shared vison to improve the working environment for everyone on the Astmoor Industrial Estate.

“We have a fantastic business community who already work closely together as a Business Improvement District and have done since 2008, providing additional improvements and security for the benefit of all.

“We all want the estate to be a beacon of economic growth and see the investment from the council as a significant step to achieving this.”

The masterplan and outcome of the consultation exercise are anticipated to be presented to the council in Spring 2019.