From a tiny hamlet of around 280 people Runcorn now has a population in excess of 61,700.
Runcorn is well known for the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Silver Jubilee Bridge, both of which sit on the River Mersey in the southeast of Liverpool City Region. The industrial town and transport hub benefits from being situated on the West Coast Main Line, with travel time to London in just under 2 hours.
The town’s location between Liverpool and Manchester benefits from great links to motorways, railways, ports and international airports within a 30-minute drive.
There are two growing international airports – Manchester Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport – within a 30-minute drive.
Current investment programmes include a multi‐million pound redevelopment of the area around Runcorn Station, which has direct services to Birmingham, Liverpool and London in under two hours. In addition, Runcorn East Station provides links to Manchester, Chester & North Wales.
Heath Park sits at the heart of a motorway network that provides easy access to the whole of the UK. With immediate transport links to Manchester, Birmingham, London and the rest of the country, Heath Park benefits from great connectivity links.
The region is served by Liverpool2 a new £400m deep-water container terminal, one of the best-equipped and connected terminals in Europe. It’s one of the fastest growing ports in the country that can accommodate 95% of the world’s fleet.
Today, Runcorn sits amid the UK’s most advanced Hydrogen network project, a critical factor that will enable our carbon-free vision. Runcorn is at the very heart of HyNet – a hydrogen energy and Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage project. HyNet will reduce carbon emissions from industry, homes and transport and support economic growth regionally, nationally and globally.
Runcorn hosts a variety of cutting-edge sustainable energy initiatives including solar, wind power and tidal energies. All are vital programmes that will help to reduce carbon emissions from industry, homes and transport, and support economic growth.
Local & Regional Investments
Runcorn sits within one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and is part of a multi-billion pound programme of major development and infrastructure investment taking place across the Liverpool City Region.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has set the goal of becoming the most digitally connected city region in the UK – including the roll out of fibre and 5G.
The region already has two significant assets which have the potential to completely transform not just this city region, but the UK as a whole, including
1. The Hartree super computer – one of the biggest, fastest computers in the country, which is based in Halton, only a few minutes’ drive from the Heath Park site.
2. One of the UK’s main trans-Atlantic fibre optic cables, which carries internet traffic between the UK, North America and the rest of the world, comes ashore in Southport.
Halton Borough Council are working to deliver a multi‐million pound high profile and vibrant ‘gateway’ destination adjacent to Runcorn Main Line station including quality public realm and improved physical linkages between the Station Quarter area, the town centre, the canals and nearby communities.
Mersey Gateway Regeneration Plan Plus
The Mersey Gateway Project will unlock significant development and investment opportunities in the area. Building on the existing strengths and assets of the local area Halton Borough Council will continue the physical regeneration and transformation of Halton and further enhance the economic offer. The Plan sets out a cohesive package of development opportunities and identifies the key infrastructure and enabling projects.
Building On Heritage
In the early 19th century, Runcorn had prospered as a ‘Spa’ town due its superb salt resources. Salt was later identified as the key element to the production of soap and leather goods. The town soon rose to prominence through the core industries of tanning and chemicals. With both dominant industries reliant on salt for their complex manufacturing processes, Runcorn, which led the world in salt production, was the perfect location for their global operations.
The 19th and 20th century saw the continued growth of Runcorn as a major manufacturing base for the UK. Connectivity was again a key factor. The construction of a rail bridge and two road bridges over the River Mersey has enabled Runcorn to grow in the areas of logistics, manufacturing, energy, wholesale and retail sectors. Today, the town is also home to a host of leading businesses involved in scientific research and development.
Originally a Norman settlement and a sparsely populated hamlet, the fortunes of Runcorn were transformed in the mid-18th century when the Duke of Bridgewater extended his canal network into Runcorn – providing a link between Manchester and the sea port of Liverpool. The Duke’s canal network with its revolutionary viaducts is considered to be one of the innovations at the heart of England’s Industrial Revolution, which opened a speedy and cost-effective route for transportation of coal from collieries in Lancashire to the ports on the River Mersey. Canal connectivity enabled Runcorn to become a vital conduit between the cities of Manchester and Liverpool with the canals used to transport salt from Cheshire, coal from Lancashire and clay from the Potteries.