A NEW retail park is set to kick-start the regeneration of Runcorn old town.
Cranes and diggers are clearing shrubs and trees at the former 6.3 acre Croville bus depot site off Bridgewater Expressway, near The Brindley.
Plans are under way for a pub restaurant, discount supermarket and shops with a walkway link into the town centre.
A developer is working closely with Halton Council but their name is being kept under wraps until a final agreement is signed.
Halton Council leader Clr Rob Polhill said: “This is very exciting. We are confident it will kick-start regeneration which is so badly needed in the old town.
“We hope it will encourage more developers to start building homes, restaurants and leisure facilities. If more people lived in this area they would take ownership and re-ignite the community spirit.
“We have been working for years to transform this area into a vibrant canalside village.
“The Brindley attracts a lot of people. We want new attractions to encourage visitors to spend more time before and after the shows.”
A new tapas bar and restaurant opens soon.
Indian restaurant Tandoori Night has had a £100,000 makeover and doubled in size to acommodate 100 customers.
Wesley Rourke, Halton Council’s operational director for economy, enterprise and property, said: “Getting cranes up breathes confidence and shows people we mean business.
“Local traders are very enthusiastic. They are coming up with imaginative ideas. We are developing more connectivity, better links into the town centre.
“We are hoping to commence work on the Crosville site at the end of this year and open the site in autumn 2015.”