FRESH plans will be drawn up for a smaller regeneration project in Winsford if a £10 million bid for Government funding fails.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working on a £21.7 million scheme that would transform the town centre.

It hopes £10 million towards that will come from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, with £11.7 million coming from council coffers, including £4.1 million from the sale of the Dene Drive car park, which is earmarked for a new Aldi store.

Cllr Malcolm Gaskill, Liberal Democrat member for Swanlow, wrote a letter in this week’s Guardian questioning what would happen to the £11.7 million if the bid was turned down.

He added: “I trust the councillors who were successfully elected last May, promising the voters a new town centre, are ready to stand up for Winsford if the bid for money from central Government fails.”

The Guardian asked CWAC whether that £11.7 million would still be spent on Winsford’s regeneration if the Government bid was unsuccessful.

CWAC says it is committed to regenerating Winsford regardless of the £10 million bid, but no decision has yet been made on how much money it would pump into a smaller project.

The current plans are based on what could be achieved if the bid is successful, and CWAC says it would have to draw up different plans based on a smaller budget than £21.7 million.

CWAC would then work out its new budget based on the cost of the new plans – which could be higher, lower or the same as £11.7 million, but definitely would be cheaper than £21.7 million.

Cllr Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, told the Guardian: “CWAC bought the Winsford Cross site two years ago and is focused on regenerating and enhancing the town centre and, more importantly, the lives and livelihoods of the people of Winsford.

“We are confident that we have a strong bid which meets the criteria the Government has set and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will see the merits of investing in Winsford and its people.

READ > Go-ahead for £10 million bid to transform Winsford

“Our bid is for a scheme that will underpin the investments we have made to date and provide new and improved facilities for residents and visitors.

“Clearly, if the government fails to approve our bid it would be a blow to the town and the council would need to consider its response carefully.”

CWAC will make the bid for Government cash later this month following approval from cabinet last week.