Fiddlers Ferry project to boost economy by £90m

Following a public consultation detailed plans are submitted for the redevelopment of the giant Fiddler’s Ferry power station that could create more than 2,000 jobs. Tony McDonough reports

Fiddler's Ferry
Around 1.4m sq ft of commercial space will be created at Fiddler’s Ferry


Peel NRE has submitted detailed plans to Warrington Council for the redevelopment of the huge Fiddler’s Ferry power station site.

Part of the Peel Group, Peel NRE is proposing a three-phase 15-year project that will see the creation of 1.4m sq ft of new commercial floorspace. There is also a proposal to build more than 1,700 new homes. It will boost the economy by an estimated £90m.

This development will also mean the famous cooling towers of the power station, which have dominated the skyline for more than 50 years, will disappear.

In 1971 the coal-fired power station generated its first electricity. It was closed in March 2020 as part of the phasing out of coal amid the threat of climate change.

Its eight cooling towers are among the most prominent landmarks in the North West. Each cooling tower is 374ft high with a chimney rising to 660ft. The facility is visible from as far away as the Peak District.

According to the masterplan, that has been out for public consultation, the 1.4m sq ft of commercial space will be created across four large industrial buildings.

In January LBN reported that demand for grade A industrial and distribution space is outstripping supply across the North West.

It is estimated more than 2,100 jobs will be created or supported by the projects with 845 people employed during the build phases.

Later phases will include a new neighbourhood to the east of the former power station. This could include new family homes supported by space for a new primary school, shops and a GP surgery.

Plans for the further residential development will be submitted at a later time and will be guided by a Development Framework including a wider masterplan for the site which will be shared with the public later this year. 

Kieran Tames, development director at Peel NRE, said: “Following a detailed consultation with stakeholders across Warrington and Halton and members of the local community, we are delighted to submit the planning application for the Phase 1.

“More than 5,700 individuals engaged with our interactive consultation hosted by specialist digital agency Deetu as well several in-person events in Warrington, Widnes and Penketh.


Fiddler's Ferry
Fiddler’s Ferry power station cooling towers have dominated the skyline for 50 years


“The level of public support during the consultation was significant, with particular support for the redevelopment of brownfield land, job creation, and more sustainable and energy efficient buildings.”

Transport improvements are a key part of the proposals with NRE committing to improvements of the existing Widnes Road (A562). A new dedicated pedestrian and cycle link to Widnes Road (A562) will also provide access to and from the development. 

READ MORE: Government backs Bootle Strand vision with £20m

This submission comes ahead of the appointment of demolition contractors which is expected in the coming weeks. The former coal stockyard, office buildings and four northern cooling towers are expected to be demolished before the end of the year. 

Kieran added: “We do understand the concerns of residents about pressure on local transport links so have taken necessary steps to provide sustainable alternative transport options and improve existing access to the site.

“We will continue our engagement with site neighbours and while the formal consultation period is now closed, residents can still access our plans online and contact the project team.”

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