THE Chancellor today guaranteed £270 million to support the iconic Mersey Gateway bridge.

Delivering his budget statement, George Osborne said: “Today, I have approved a £270 million guarantee for the Mersey Gateway bridge thanks to the hard work of my honourable friend for Weaver Vale.”

Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans and Halton MP Derek Twigg have been campaigning to support the new six lane crossing.

A spokesperson for the Mersey Gateway project said: “Today’s announcement from the Chancellor that the Government has confirmed a £270 million guarantee to support the project is great news.

“The Government is now guaranteeing around 50 per cent of the senior debt required to finance the project with the remainder being provided by the project finance market.

“This decision clears the way for financial close, when contracts will be awarded and all finance committed and we expect to achieve this in the very near future.

“Once we have completed this, more details of the financial arrangements and funding will be confirmed and announced.

“Preparations are taking place to allow construction work to commence in the coming weeks.”