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Minister should be appointed to boost Atlantic Gateway, says CECA

The government should appoint a minister to take responsibility for the North-west’s Atlantic Gateway economic growth zone, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association has said.

CECA’s north west branch said a minister should champion the initiative which stretches through Merseyside to Greater Manchester and includes projects like the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Northern Hub rail scheme.

In a report, which will be launched on Friday, CECA north west said the winning consortium on the Mersey Gateway Bridge – Kier, Samsung and FCC – should commit to working with local and regional contractors on the project.

It said there should be a rail or tram link from central Liverpool to John Lennon Airport and eventually Mersey Gateway Bridge.

The report also urged the government to make sure the NuGen new nuclear power station on the Sellafield site stayed on track and lent CECA’s support to gas extraction from the Bowland Shale Field.

It also asked for more funding for firms to take on apprentices and improve the skills of the existing workforce.

Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, who will launch the report, said: “Investment in infrastructure is essential for the economy of the North-west.  I particularly welcome proposals to support the Atlantic Gateway, linking Mersey Gateway Bridge with John Lennon airport.  This will provide a major focus for growth across the region.”

Chairman of CECA North West and Centum Construction Services managing director Joe Fitzgibbon, said: “There is no doubt that investment in the region’s infrastructure has the potential to achieve the greatest benefits for the North West, and needs to be targeted at rail, roads, utilities, energy and waste.”

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