BOROUGH chiefs say their regeneration plans in Winsford will have been a failure if they don’t reduce deprivation in the town.

Cheshire West and Chester Council, in partnership with Public Sector PLC (PSP), is embarking on a £5 million expansion of the town’s industrial estate which could create 1,500 jobs.

At the same time, the council is working on plans to revamp Winsford Cross and the town centre, and has invested in both Town Park and a public sector ‘hub’ at Wyvern House.

But data released by the End Child Poverty coalition earlier this year showed that more than a quarter of Winsford children are growing up in poverty – and Charlie Seward, deputy chief executive for place at CWAC, insists addressing the problem is at the heart of the council’s plans for the town.

He said: “We think if it doesn’t [address the issue] then we will have failed, to be quite honest. It sounds flippant but we genuinely do think that.

“It’s very much a holistic approach being taken for the whole town. It’s a different approach to the past. We are already seeing some good results from it, and we absolutely see that as being the acid test of whether it has been worth it.

“We recognise that we’ve got some of the most successful businesses in Cheshire, some of the wealthiest parts of Cheshire, next to some of the most deprived communities in the whole of the UK.

“That from the outset was our challenge, but at least now we are mobilising everybody, and everybody understands what we are trying to do and the outcomes that we are trying to achieve.”

CWAC says it wants to help people looking for jobs to find training opportunities which can lead them to better-paid jobs – and hopefully, a route out of poverty.

And the council says it is working with local employers to create more jobs that are accessible for Winsfordians – such as Tiger Trailers, which will expand as part of the Winsford Industrial Estate development.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work to get under the skin of that deprivation and understand the barriers that stop people getting into jobs and taking advantage of all that investment,” Charlie added.

“We’ve got a ‘whole place’ programme which is all about not just the shopping centre and the industrial estate, but is actually tackling educational attainment, helping to get people into employment.

“So if we know that Tiger Trailers wants to hire people, we know what skills they need, we can then start to really focus on working with those clients to make sure they can develop those skills and we can give them the best chance of getting those jobs.

“We’ve also got a lot of in-work poverty, so it’s about how we can develop skills to get people into better-paid jobs. There are housing issues, there are health issues in Winsford so we are working with our health partners, GPs, the NHS to tackle those as well. It’s a really well-rounded approach.”