Health and education hub gets green light from planners

Halton Borough Council has been awarded £1.8m of funding for the refurbishment of a town centre building to provide a new health and education Hub in Runcorn.

The proposed refurbishment design, prepared on behalf of the council by Chester architecture, planning and building surveying practice Cassidy + Ashton, outlines the transformation of the town’s library on Granville Street into a hub to provide community-based clinics, education and training.

Halton Borough Council was awarded the funds from the government’s Towns Fund.

The hub’s objective to deliver both health and education is an initiative developed in partnership with local health and education providers, led by Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Partners involved include Riverside College, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Halton Borough Council.

The town’s library will be relocated to The Brindley theatre within the creative quarter of Runcorn as another part of the Town Deal programme led by the council.

Adrian Fillingham, chair of the Runcorn Town Deal Board, said: “Having this facility at the heart of the town centre will make it much easier for local people to get the information, services and support they need to stay active and healthy.

“This is a really exciting and innovative scheme, which alongside the other Reconnecting Runcorn projects will make a real difference to people’s lives and drive the transformation of Runcorn town centre in the years to come.”

Lucy Gardner, director of strategy and partnerships at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Delivering care closer to our communities is an important aim for our Trust. Through working in partnership, we will be able to provide key health services closer to our patients, helping to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for our residents, whilst supporting the regeneration of Runcorn town centre.”

Consultants and partners working alongside Cassidy + Ashton on the project include quantity surveying services from Thornber & Walker, mechanical, electrical and public health advice from KGA UK Ltd and structural and civil engineering support from JPS civil and structural engineers.

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