THE news Victoria Infirmary will receive £1.7m investment and remain at its current site has been welcomed by the town's councillors.

News broke on Thursday (October 7) that the much loved facility would given an upgrade rather than move to a brand new facility in Weaver Square because of the costs involved.

READ> Victoria Infirmary move to Weaver Square is off but it will get £1.7m investment instead

The new build had been central to plans to completely re-generate the Weaver Square site, with Northwich mayor Sam Naylor admitting the decision meant going back to the drawing board.

"Negotiations between Cheshire West and Chester and the Mid Cheshire NHS Trust have been ongoing for the last 18 months," he said.

"James Sumner is very much a forward thinking Chief Exec, and I know he was keen to build a new facility.

"For me, that would have been a good fit because the VIN is up a steep hill and its existing facilities were not good enough for the 21st century.

"But those talks haven't worked out because the costs to move it to Weaver Square were simply too great.

"However, the investment will mean the VIN, which is a much loved facility in the town, will have much better facilities than what it does now, which is obviously good news.

"In terms of the future of Weaver Square, we're basically starting from a blank canvas again.

"We need to sort that out once and for all as it's been dragging on for the last seven years."

Fellow councillor Kate Cernik said the investment was great news and ensured the soon-to-be enhanced and expanded services were here to stay.

She said: "It is really good news to hear that the future of the VIN is assured.

"We have met with James Sumner on a number of occasions and stressed the vital importance of having great health care facilities to cope with the demands of our growing town.

"We were reassured that services will not only remain in Northwich but they will be enhanced and expanded.

"This will now happen at the original Infirmary site where there will be considerable investment to enable local people to access state of the art diagnostic facilities here in Northwich.

"I am hopeful that the new investment will help tackle the huge backlog of care and treatment that the NHS is facing."

Cllr Lee Siddall, who before he was appointed to the town council, successfully led a peitition calling on the facility to re-introduce evening and weekend hours, said he was glad it would remian on its current site.

"I'm delighted that Mid Cheshire trust has decided to invest and focus on the VIN on the current site," he said. 

"I understand that having a newly purpose-built building located in Weaver Square would have brought some benefits.

"However, I feel most locals like it where it is and feel it has its own identity and history.

"The next question is how do we develop Weaver square and what will be the plans going forward?

"I'm sure all councillors will be eager to listen to residents ideas of how we can use this site to add to the regeneration of that has been taking place over the last couple of years."