RESIDENTS will soon get another chance to have their say on the future of Winsford town centre.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is expected to sign off the latest vision for the town in the coming weeks, before members of the public will be asked for their views.

Cllr Richard Beacham, CWAC cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “We are trying to reshape Winsford in a way that people in the town want it to be, so they can be proud of it for future generations.

Winsford Guardian:

“It has been a long time coming. Getting the town centre back into public ownership was a significant stage and that can be the catalyst for change – it is a really exciting time for Winsford.”

The latest vision comes almost 18 months since CWAC bought Winsford Cross for £19.75 million, and a year since it began working with consultants.

It is expected to feature a drop in the number of stores in the town centre from the current 74 to reflect Britain’s changing high streets.

New housing is expected to feature, along with a more prominent home for Winsford Market and more attractive public space.

CWAC also wants to make good use of Winsford’s library, which attracts footfall for the town centre, and is keen to make High Street a more prominent feature of the town.

Cllr Malcolm Gaskill, Liberal Democrat member for Winsford Swanlow, said: “It’s all quite interesting, but we’ve been told it’s going to take 15 years from start to end.

Winsford Guardian:

“I can understand that – if you took a bulldozer to the town centre and then built it from scratch over three years, all the customers would go somewhere else.

“So we have got to do it in a piecemeal way with minimal pain and disruption.”

The Guardian understands that the masterplan will be released once final details of how residents can have their say are confirmed.

A CWAC spokesman said: “Winsford Cross Shopping Centre was in a state of terminal decline under its previous owners and the decision to acquire it by the council was a statement of intent that things needed to change.

“Since acquiring the centre we have invested in essential maintenance and cosmetic improvements, whilst also trying to better understand the opportunities the acquisition creates. We have also been working with tenants to understand their requirements.

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“The next stage will be to engage with residents and the wider community so that they can have a say and be part of any plans that are brought forward.

“Further information about how to take part in the engagement process will be available shortly.”