Almost £3 million will be spent on boosting the road infrastructure in St Helens to support Local Plan development in the coming years.
St Helens Council’s cabinet agreed on Wednesday to earmark £1,500,000 for additional road and infrastructure investment over the next three years.
Councillors also agreed to accept a further £1 million from the Department for Transport for highway maintenance in 2018-19 and £293,000 from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for the maintenance of the Key Route Network within the borough.
Council leader Derek Long told councillors the road investment strategy was “complementary” to the Local Plan draft submission, which was also approved by cabinet.
A cabinet report says the provision of employment land and housing means the development of appropriate infrastructure is “fundamental” to the delivery of the Local Plan.
It says that, as a result, an infrastructure plan has been developed to support the proposed Local Plan.
Coun Long said: “We are a borough with many challenges, with over 10,000 people actively looking for work. That’s just one example of those challenges.
“We’re also a borough witnessing considerable jobs growth, with 4,000 new jobs in one year, according to the government’s latest figures. We have the second highest jobs growth throughout the north.
“However, this achievement of new jobs and growth must be balanced by investment in our infrastructure and in our communities.
“That is why at our last cabinet meeting colleagues will recall we committed to investment in our town and district centres and why this meeting is being asked to commit in transport infrastructure, throughout the borough.”
Additionally, cabinet agreed to earmark £500,000 from the Transformation Reserve.
The money will be used to support the design, modelling and technical appraisal of potential future transport projects so that detailed bids can be developed and to ensure new funding opportunities can be secured.
The report says access to the funds will require “strong and effective business case submissions” with sufficient design, technical detail and a defined delivery programme that is achievable within the funding timescales.
The council will also use this as potential match funding to access development funds at the city region level.
Future use of the funds will be subject to specific and separate decision.
The cabinet report also says that work has been undertaken to identify a potential further £214 million of major transport schemes for delivery through the proposed Local Plan period.
This is in addition to funds in the region of £80 million of transport that has been secured by the council since the inception of the Liverpool City Region in 2015.