Runcorn Town Deal

What is the Towns Fund?

In 2019, the government announced a £3.6 billion funding package that will be divided amongst 100 towns across England. In Halton, Runcorn was selected to bid, and projects in the town could receive up to £25 million to boost economic prospects.

More information about the Towns Fund is available here:

The Town Deal Board

The Towns Fund process required a Town Deal Board to be established, to oversee the process, help to establish an ambitious vision for the town, and to take responsibility for the bid to the Towns Fund.

The Runcorn Town Deal Board comprises a range of key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The Board is independently chaired by a local businessperson, Adrian Fillingham. Halton Borough Council is represented, including local ward councillors, as well as Derek Twigg MP.

The vision for Runcorn

Drawing on input from individuals and groups, the Town Deal Board has helped to create a vision for the regeneration of the town. This is designed to ensure that all projects have a clear purpose and will contribute long term benefits to local people. The key elements of the vision which will be submitted as part of the Towns Fund bid are:

  1. Runcorn Town will be an attractive area for businesses to locate, providing a stronger local economy with a wider variety of job opportunities in the heart of the community and be more accessible to local people. Its population will benefit from improved access to skills and training, with the younger generation especially embracing the digital revolution, inspired by a new provision encouraging play, learn, and work on creative and digital activities.
  2. Runcorn Town will be an attractive place for people to live, where its population enjoys better average health with a services offer more accessible to the community. Its residents will enjoy active lifestyles with a more pedestrian and cycling friendly infrastructure. The town centre will become a more pleasant living environment with improved air quality, reduced vehicle dominance and well-designed public space that is welcoming, safe, and inclusive – with the aim of promoting wellbeing for all residents.
  3. Runcorn Town will be an attractive place for people to visit, with new and improved visitor destinations maximising the potential of its heritage, waterways, and culture. Visitors will connect to a more accessible and visible culture encouraging increased dwell time and an evening economy. Small independents and other businesses will benefit from a thriving high street with increased footfall and average spend, as well as an enlarged residential catchment.

The projects we’re putting forward

In order to make this vision a reality, we have put forward a range of projects to secure funding from the Towns Fund. In total seven projects are put forward, including Runcorn Station Quarter, Unlock Runcorn, High Street Connectivity, Brindley Theatre Enhancement, a Health and Education Hub, a Creative and Digital Skills Centre, and Town Centre New Homes.

A final phase of consultation, that was coordinated in December 2020 and January 2021, brought together the outcomes and the insights collected over a number of years, through multiple phases of engagement. The survey was designed as an opportunity to ascertain the opinion of people in Runcorn and to confirm that the vision being proposed has public support, along with the projects that have been prioritised.

633 people have responded to the consultation exercise, responding to ten questions about the Runcorn Town Investment Plan, and the aspirations to level up the Town Centre. The response from local people was encouraging; with key finding that 74% of people are aware of the Town Deal and the ambition to regenerate Runcorn, highlighting the effectiveness of long-term engagement programmes and established stakeholder relationships. The project Unlock Runcorn found the most public support of all seven proposed projects.

Runcorn Outcome of Formal Consultation and Engagement »

One of the projects in the Town Investment Plan is the Brindley Theatre Enhancement. K2 Architects from Liverpool created a RIBA stage 2 Concept Design for the proposed extension to the Brindley Theatre. The Council’s own Open Space Services created a concept design for an accessible Brindley Green. The proposals complement each other. Both plans are available to download.

The Government guidance requires a local authority to set up a Town Deal Board

The Runcorn Town Deal Board comprises a range of key stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The Board is independently chaired by a local businessperson, Adrian Fillingham. Halton Borough Council is represented on the Board, with the Council also providing administrative support. Some local ward councilors are on the Board, as well as Derek Twigg MP. The elected members are aware of local issues and the improvements requested by their residents.  The Board members are:

Adrian Fillingham

Adrian is a Senior Project Manager with J Brand Ltd based on the Astmoor Industrial Estate in Runcorn. Adrian is also Vice Chair of the Astmoor Business Improvement District Board. He is Chair of the Runcorn Town Deal Board

Board Member
David Parr

In June 2004 David became the Chief Executive of Halton Borough Council. David’s background is in planning, environmental and transportation law.  He has extensive experience in the areas of regeneration and urban renewal and has led numerous transformational regeneration projects creating new employment sites, regenerating town centres and generating major new job opportunities. David sits on the Board of Halton Chamber and is a Board Director on the Joint venture at Sci Tech Daresbury He has been involved with the delivery of the £2billion Mersey Gateway Bridge Project, the 3MG multi-modal logistics site at Widnes, the renaissance of the Runcorn Shopping Centre and Widnes Town Centre, The Brindley Arts Centre (Runcorn) and the Select Security Stadium in Widnes.

Board Member
Wesley Rourke

Wesley is an Operational Director for Economy, Enterprise and Property at Halton Borough Council.

At Halton, he is responsible for:

  • Bringing forward and implementing the borough’s major physical development sites; managing the Council’s property and strategic assets;
  • Coordinating and acting upon the borough’s inward investment and business enquiries;
  • Encouraging and supporting businesses to expand;
  • Developing and delivering initiatives, which create, secure and safeguard jobs in the Borough and the provision of a wide range of adult and family learning courses across the borough.


Board Member
Derek Twigg MP

Derek has lived all of his life in Halton.  Derek has served as the Member of Parliament for Halton since 1997 and his priority is the people of Halton

Board Member
Sophie Bevan

Sophie is an Investment Manager at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority as well as a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Sophie also sits on the St Helens and Southport Town Deals boards.

Board Member
Cllr Dave Thompson

Dave is Deputy Leader of Halton Council and has represented the Halton Lea ward for 20 years. He has almost 35 years in the public sector, working for Councils in the Liverpool City Region. His professional expertise is in managing public spaces and has experience of judging / assessing quality and performance in local government. In 2005 he was asked by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to join its Green Flag Advisory Board as the sole representative of local authorities.

Board Member
Rachael Owen

Having worked as a business adviser across a breadth of sectors, public and private, throughout the North West and Liverpool City Region, Rachael now focuses on the specific needs of Halton based organisations and champions a business centric approach as the Chief Executive of Halton Chamber of Commerce.  Halton Chamber is a business led, not for profit, membership organisation, representing Runcorn and Widnes based enterprises.  The Chamber supports local inter-trading and provides practical help and advice at all stages of business development including start up, consolidation and growth, as well as international expansion.  Rachael is a qualified, post 16 lecturer with a PGCE, CIM Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and MBA.

Board Member
Hayley Dooley

Hayley is the DWP Partnership Manager working on behalf of the local Jobcentres in Runcorn and Widnes, supporting partners to deliver a wide range of services, training and support to unemployed people and their families across Halton.

Board Member
Mary Murphy

Mary is the Principal of Riverside College and Cronton Sixth Form College, having worked previously in two highly successful colleges in the North West. Mary has a wealth of industrial and educational experience and alongside her team of teaching, support and training staff she invests in young people and adults to ensure that they all have opportunities to fulfil their potential.

Board Member
Lucy Gardner

Lucy is the Director of Strategy at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (WHH).  Lucy started her career 17 years ago as an NHS General Management Trainee, gaining a Master’s degree in health and social care leadership and management. In the 17 years she has held a number of operational management roles within the NHS and subsequently, in her role at EY and most recently as Director of Strategy at WHH, led large scale change programmes to deliver significant financial, quality and performance benefits predominantly within healthcare. Highlights include; leading the introduction of the support time recovery worker role into mental health services; leading a £3.6m project to install the first intra-operative scanner in a pediatric setting in the UK and Europe; leading the transfer of pediatric services from an acute to a community setting; directing a project for disadvantaged pregnant teenagers in Peru; and leading the support to the merger of two large acute Trusts.  Lucy is passionate about improving the lives of the populations she serves from a health and wider regeneration perspective.

Board Member
Paul Mullane

Paul is Director of Development and Growth for Halton Housing and currently is looking after the development of new homes, delivering their ambitious plan to build and acquire 1,000 new homes covering a whole market housing offer.

Board Member
Claire Bradbury

Claire is Chief Executive of Power in Partnership, a community education provider. Claire is passionate about communities and young people and has been involved in the third sector In Halton for over 25 years.

Board Member
Graham Wallace

Graham is a retired Royal Navy veteran and local business man. Graham is the Chairman of Runcorn Locks Restoration Society. Graham sits on the Runcorn Town Team panel

Board Member
Alex Haycraft

Alex is the managing director of Blueball Brewery Ltd and Society Tap Room based in Runcorn. Alex is also a member of the Runcorn Town Team.

Town Deal Board meeting agendas and minutes »

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