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Family welcomes £100m regeneration of Castlefields
A FAMILY who have lived in Castlefields for 43 years are looking forward to the completion of a £100 million makeover which has transformed their estate.
Sheila Watts, aged 63, and her husband, Charlie, aged 69, were newlyweds when they moved into their dream home in Runcorn New Town in 1970.
They were delighted to have a place of their own.
Mum Sheila recalled: “We were vetted and interviewed and offered a new, modern bungalow which we were thrilled with.
“It was a lovely community, lots of respectable elderly people and young families.
“When you moved in, a neighbour would get the best teacups out and come round to welcome you to the street.”
Over the last four decades, they raised their son, Peter, and made lots of friends.
The family has experienced the ups and downs on the estate but have never wanted to live anywhere else.
Even when Castlefields disintegrated and fell into the top one per cent of the most deprived wards nationally, they stayed put.
High rise tower blocks which dwarfed their home have been bulldozed to made way for 800 new homes.
A £11m village square, featuring new shots, a health and community centre a park have been created.
Sheila said: “There’s been a great improvement.
“The regeneration started and things have changed. The estate is in better condition and well maintained.
“There is a real sense of community here.
“The new community centre is marvellous and really well used. It’s something so positive for the estate. It’s wonderful to see the improvements.”
Gill Ferris, LHT head of development, said: “Creating communities where families enjoy living and working is what regeneration is all about.
“The improvements are helping to create a Castlefields that’s a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable place to live and work.”
Liverpool Housing Trust, Halton Council, Plus Dane Group and the Homes and Communities Agencies teamed up to create Castlefields Regenration Partnership.