A MASTERPLAN to transform the lives of residents in some of Warrington’s most deprived wards is gathering pace.

The ambitious central six regeneration masterplan aims to put forward innovative proposals to shape the future in Bewsey and Whitecross, Fairfield and Howley, Latchford East, Latchford West, Orford and Poplars and Hulme

It was discussed by councillors at the building stronger communities policy committee meeting on Wednesday evening at the Town Hall.

One of its objectives is to help ‘build resilience’ to future economic threats and downturns, while helping neighbourhoods climb up the health and deprivation ladder over the next 25 to 30 years.

The community-driven initiative comprises themes including safer and greener streets, an inclusive economy, an active waterside, improving community hubs and facilities, inclusive housing and well-connected affordable movement.

The purpose of the active waterside theme is to ‘open’ up more of Warrington’s riverside to allow people to enjoy it for sport and other forms of leisure.

The delivery of safer and greener streets could see part of the A49 Winwick Road redesigned to calm traffic, while making it more cycle and pedestrian friendly.

But specific timescales for that piece of work, along with other ambitions, are yet to be finalised.

Cllr Sharon Harris (LD – Appleton) said: “They seem like really positive plans. I was interested in making the A49 safer for everybody.

“The A49 is a very horrible road, particularly for cyclists.”

Cllr Harris then asked where the Winwick Road proposal is in the ‘list of priorities’ in the timeframe of the document.

Jo Taylor, partnerships and commissioning manager at the council, said other work will need to be carried out before efforts to deliver key proposals can be implemented.

She added that if the authority tries to complete projects ‘right away’, it could cause ‘more problems than it solves’.

The plan, which also seeks to tackle fly-tipping and rat-running, will continue to be reviewed.

A report will be going to the council’s cabinet – it will outline options to embed the masterplan into core council policy.

Committee chair Cllr Jean Flaherty (LAB – Fairfield and Howley) – who chairs the central area neighbourhood renewal board, which has been overlooking the masterplan – labelled the document as very aspirational and exciting.

She said it will help Warrington build on the ‘fantastic things’ already in the borough.

Following the meeting, Cllr Tony Higgins, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and community, said: “Let’s make no mistake, this masterplan is a real game changer.

“It will reshape the way the council works with residents and businesses, with health and wellbeing at the very centre of any decisions made.

“The implementation of this plan is vital if we are to make the positive changes needed to rebalance some very unfair inequalities.

“The Bewsey and Dallam Hub will be vital in helping to support and deliver much-needed community services.”