A UNIQUE opportunity has been created for residents to help shape a new town centre in Winsford, say councillors.

The town is through to the next stage of the Government's Future High Streets Fund and could win a share of a multi-million pound cash investment.

Exciting plans to rejuvenate the area will be drawn up in the coming months.

A £150,000 resource funding grant has been given to Cheshire West and Chester Council to develop and present a full business case.

Residents will have a chance to suggest ideas of what they would like to see during consultation over the summer.

Winsford Guardian:

Residents are being urged to tell councillors what they would like to see in Winsford town centre when consultation begins in the summer

Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: "It is really important that people have a say over what happens.This is a great opportunity for residents to tell us what they want to see.

"Winsford has got to create a town people are proud of."

Winsford is one of only 51 places chosen from more than 300 areas across the country that applied for a share of the £675 million government fund to breathe new life into town centres.

Councillors now have until spring 2020 to submit their final business cases.

The winning bids will receive multi-million funding to complete their projects.

CWAC has been striving to regenerate the town centre since the council bought Winsford Cross Shopping Centre in February last year.

Cllr Beacham said: "We are really excited about the future of Winsford. This latest development is massive. We need to look at new things. The retail market is flagging. We need to recognise that and look at things that bring more people into the town centre.

"My view is that we need to improve access to the health services, public services, parks and open spaces.

"There is not a lot of night time economy. Perhaps we could introduce more leisure facilities and restaurants."

It is crucial, he said, that residents come up with their own suggestions.

"It's got to be new and of this time," said Cllr Beacham. "We have to reflect people's changing habits around where they want to spend time with family and friends and how they want to shop. We've got to get it right. This will be here for the next 50 years. This is a real opportunity for the town to seize. It must be the best it possibly can be to secure the final money."

Winsford Guardian:

Former CWAC Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet minister for economic development and infrastructure, who led the Future High Streets funding bid for Winsford

He paid tribute to his predecessor former CWAC Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, who recently retired.

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Cllr Beacham added: "This bid went in under his watch. It is his vision. All of his work is coming to fruition. I am standing on the shoulder of giants."