A RECRUITMENT drive is being mounted to find hundreds of people to deliver the £600 million Mersey Gateway project.

The six-lane tolled bridge linking Runcorn and Widnes over the River Mersey will be one of the largest civil engineering projects in Europe.

Steve Cardwell, project director of Merseylink, said: “Delivering a project of such magnitude, which will bring clear benefits to local communities, requires the strongest possible team.

“I’m confident we will be able to bring together highly motivated staff. At our peak, we will be employing more than 500 people.”

Trees have been felled to pave the way for construction which starts in the spring.

Halton Council leader Clr Rob Polhill said: “This is great news. We have said all along that Mersey Gateway can be a catalyst for job creation and will help encourage inward investment to the whole region.

“The scale of this project is huge and there will be high quality opportunities in lots of different areas.”

The cable-stay bridge is due to be completed in 2017.