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Mersey Gateway gets £80m funding boost

Chancellor George Osborne has now confirmed the funding proposals for the £430 million Mersey Gateway bridge project.

A letter from Mr Osborne sent to Halton Borough Council yesterday confirmed that the Government will give the project £80m over the next four years to assist with land acquisition and project development costs as well as additional long term funding required to deliver the new bridge.  

Mersey Gateway project director Steve Nicholson said: “This letter confirms our understanding of the funding commitment from government including an up-front contribution of around £80 million now, with additional financial support from Government over the next 5 years. We will now be working with Government to establish the most effective draw down of this additional funding to achieve best value for money.

“The funding options identified are now being assessed with DfT officials and we expect the remaining details to be confirmed in the near future. But the government commitment announced this week enable us to take the project forward, subject to receiving planning approval in due course.”  

The centrepiece of the Mersey Gateway Project is a new six-lane toll bridge over the Mersey between the towns of Runcorn and Widnes. The existing Silver Jubilee Bridge will also be tolled as part of the project.

It is anticipated that construction work will start within two years of government granting planning approval, and that the new bridge will take around three years to complete.