A HANDFUL of local authorities have succeeded in accessing funds from a £1 billion national pot that aims to boost infrastructure projects including St Helens Council for the Parkside Link Road.

The Government revealed in the Autumn Budget that it would lend local authorities in England up to £1billion at a new discounted rate to support infrastructure projects that are high value for money.

Local authorities were invited to prepare bids to access the funds.

St Helens Council submitted a bid for the A49 to M6 Junction 22 Link Road scheme, also known as the Parkside Link Road project.

The project connects the A49 in Newton-le-Willows directly with the M6 at Junction 22, which will act as a by-pass to divert traffic away from Newton-le-Willows, Winwick and Hermitage Green.

The project is part of the wider plans to regenerate the former Parkside Colliery site, which could create around 6,000 jobs.

In October, the council secured £24 million towards the Parkside Link Road project from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

It has now been revealed that the council has been notified by HM Treasury the application had been successful.

The council has been awarded £6.17 million of discounted borrowing at the local infrastructure rate, which can be drawn down up until April 1, 2022.

Speaking at cabinet, council leader Derek Long said access to the funds is a “rare accolade”.

Cllr Long said: “It was actually a very, very rare award which doesn’t apply to more than five other organisations in the country.

“That meant that they viewed us as a good organisation for actually borrowing money in a way that was sensible and using it sensibly as well.

“So that’s a rare accolade to gain that access.”