AN ambitious project set to 'drive' investment, jobs and housing development in Cheshire and Warrington has received a £625,000 boost from the Government.

The Northern Gateway partnership – a collaboration of seven local authorities, as well as Cheshire and Warrington and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – aims to 'spearhead growth' in the region.

The bodies are working together across authority borders to maximise the potential benefits to their communities from HS2, including a hub station at Crewe, through to formation of a regional growth strategy.

It will aim to 'supercharge' economic growth in the region by connecting the Northern Powerhouse with the Midlands Engine to 'capitalise on the economic potential' of HS2.

The partnership has made significant progress since its launch in autumn 2015, with economic baseline analysis having been submitted to Government last December and further work already under way to inform the final growth strategy.

It is expected that it will be submitted this April.

The partnership has strong backing from Government, having received £625,000 in funding to progress development of the regional growth strategy last year, and recent confirmation that a further £625,000 will be received this year, taking the total to £1.25 million.

The gateway spans Cheshire and North Staffordshire, including Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Stafford and the A500 corridor.

The Northern Gateway development zone will also be one of the key investment propositions for Cheshire and Warrington LEP – it will be promoting it at MIPIM in Cannes next month.

Warrington South MP David Mowat welcomed progress on the project.

He said: "The Northern Gateway partnership is an exciting project which will drive investment and jobs in the region.

"I'm delighted that the Government is providing the financial backing and I look forward to working closely with local government leaders to see it delivered."