FUTURISTIC designs have been drawn up showing an ambitious vision for an area of Warrington.

The vicinity of Bank Quay railway station has been earmarked for redevelopment as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail proposals.

Now, artist impressions have been created outlining the potential for the area as a shopping and leisure plaza overlooking the River Mersey.

They were published in an annual property review by Warrington and Co – the business arm of Warrington Borough Council focusing on investment and regeneration.

Last month, it was announced that Warrington’s rail transport aspirations remain on track following confirmation of Northern Powerhouse Rail plans.

Following a statement made in the House of Commons, plans being taken forward include a Government commitment to continue with and repurpose Phase 2B, also known as the Western Leg, of previous HS2 plans.

As part of this, Warrington Bank Quay looks set to play a central role, with a low-level station being the primary option for the next stage of the development of the route between Liverpool and Manchester.

This would give Warrington significantly more connectivity to Manchester Airport, Liverpool, Chester, north Wales, the wider north of England and ultimately the West Coast Main Line via the existing high-level station.

The council says the announcement follows years of dedicated work and lobbying to ensure Warrington plays a prominent part in any Northern Powerhouse Rail plans.

Impressions of how a redeveloped Bank Quay plaza could look

Impressions of how a redeveloped Bank Quay plaza could look

The local authority and Warrington South MP Andy Carter said that ensuring Warrington Bank Quay becomes a Northern Powerhouse Rail station would boost the wider regeneration of that area.

In the annual property review, managing director John Laverick states: “Warrington’s strategic location and superb reach will consolidate and sustain the town’s existing excellent employment base.

“It also triggers new investment and forecast growth in universities, finance and IT facing business support services.

“Our focus will therefore be on enabling small and medium-sized enterprises, predominantly within the centre of town located around rail hubs, to set up and grow.

“The attractiveness of the town centre is not just about the space, but also about connectivity.

“The relocation of the bus depot was a very deliberate planned move, giving greater space for business to develop in close proximity to the town centre, while allowing the bus service to de-carbonise, as part of an overall carbon reduction strategy for the town.

“Truly, the test of this is still to come, as we start to work with our neighbours in Liverpool and Manchester to understand how as a north west region we accelerate the benefits that we can extract from regional infrastructure in Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“The major milestones for this larger scale development of Warrington are at the moment unclear. We have a lot of work to do to make this happen and the timescales are significant.

“But progress to date is good, with Warrington being endorsed by both regional mayors and our own political leadership as part of the growth corridor that will come from Northern Powerhouse Rail.”