The Love Warrington business breakfasts started 2017 with a talk by Steve Park; Managing Director of Warrington & Co at the Base office building near to Warrington Central Station. After a chance for local businesses and those helping to promote the town to network the talk began. Steve outlined the current developments in Warrington including Time Square and the stadium quarter, and looking ahead to the town becoming a garden city, given the unique pattern of green spaces. I see the parks around the town centre, and the Sankey Valley along the canal as places you can almost forget you live in large town between two major cities.
The talk began mentioning the developments that have been completed or underway including the launch of the Base, the University Technical College next door, the logistics and manufacturing hub of Omega by the M62, and the progress being made with the new market and Time Square development in the town centre.
Other developments on the horizon will look to create a vibrant, dynamic and colourful city by 2040, with Steve himself believing Warrington could become a city within 5 years. The City Centre masterplan, which is worth a read is split into the following areas;
- City Centre Parklands (the unique framework of open spaces that form a green necklace around the town)
- Keeping the City Centre Moving (enhancing the transportation networks to avoid the current congestion including new road and bridge plans)
- Development Quarters (Time Square & the Cultural Quarter, Stadium Quarter, Bank Quay Gateway, Southern Gateway and the Waterfront)
- A City of Culture (Warrington’s distinctiveness with the Museum, Parr Hall, festivals etc)
- City Centre Living (8,000 new homes in the heart of the city)
- A New Focus for Business (new offices and hotel space)
- Management & Maintenance (management and relationship built between all those involved in the city centre)
- Programme Management & Delivery (timescales for delivery)
Jo Jackson, the Employment Development Manager of Warrington & Co also spoke and discussed upcoming projects supporting local jobs, and helping people into work.
As a member of the Friends of Warrington Transporter Bridge and the Civic Society I personally see this as an exciting time for the town, and the positives on offer moving forward in gaining city status. After living in Warrington for over 7 years and made the town my home, I have enjoyed getting involved within the community to promote it’s distinctiveness to residents and outside. I think is great news that the Transporter Bridge is seen and important heritage asset by the council, and being an integral part of the development plans for the waterfront.
The redevelopment of the Cabinet Works, although I feel a shame to loose has been left in a state of disrepair and now a damaged shell that needs redevelopment. Creating a landmark on this site I feel should be sensitive to the past, while building a city centre for the future.
I believe this is an exciting time for Warrington looking forward, and residents and businesses can get involved with, to create a new city we can all be proud of.