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Councillors call in the Experts to regenerate Warringto


Geoffrey Settle
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Unfortunately, regeneration and the planned future of the Town rests with the private sector, who have the initiative in the form of "the money"; and appear loath to co-operate in holostic ventures, resulting in piece meal development. :roll: There has been no detailed blueprint produced by the Council, merely a vague outline, in the form of UDP and some planning briefs. :roll: What is required is: a detailed plan, with the necessary money and powers for the Council to impliment it. :roll:

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Obs, so true, Warrington is going down hill fast and it must be down to the council, not just this council now but the council as a whole, councillors, chief officers , heads of departments, mainly the last two. Nothing has been done to bring prosperity to the town. The only way that it can prosper is if people come and use the town.

What is there to bring people into town to spend money?

Ok the 18 ~ 30's can come in for the night life, which revolves around drink/ drugs/ and fighting. But the night economy is not enough to sustain the town. The day economy centers around the golden square, which to be honest is quite 3rd rate, difficult to get to, difficult to walk around, dark and unpleasant. For the rest of the town we have empty shops, which are shortly to be filled by more banks and building societies which are down sizing from other property. The high street has no interesting shops, very poor places to eat. If you drive a car you are vermin and will be witch hunted. The busses are getting better but expensive and no use if you are in a hurry. The main train station (Bank Quay) is not considered part of the town, no busses no connection and both stations are grotty. The town street are a little cleaner in the day time but early morning after the night economy there is a lot of cleaning to be done.

Why would a big investor come to Warrington? Just put yourself in their shoes, you have ?500m to spend on a development, how would you expect to be treated?

Maybe like the ones who wanted to develop a new Centre Park retail development, or Burtonwood, or Winwick street, or Bank Street, or Cockhedge, or Church street. To name a few.

Anyone with the money would take one look at this town and run away.

 

Warrington is just behind the times, I think that it all started when Warrington New Town finished got worse when it became a unitary authority. The people in the top jobs have no interest in the town, they are on a very good salary for producing nothing. The whole system of local government is run by people who want to line their own pockets as much as they can with little or no effort.

There are also other factors, the river, sport, leasure, education and the transport road system which are all lacking.

What is really sad is that I cannot see the wind of change. Also there is no will to change from the people who need to change.

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Gosh a good debate on no clowns have joined in yet, Obs' intellectual prowess has got them beat. :D

 

Seriously though I do think that we need some professional input be that commercial, intellectual or professional - ideally all three.

 

Warrington does have a great deal of potential and is achieving in many areas but currently lacks a stronger sense of direction and leadership.

 

[ 06.04.2008, 06:07: Message edited by: Watercolour ]

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I think that Warrington town centre as it stands should be forgotten and left to decline. A new retail town centre should be built not too far away maybe just east of the M6 or on Burtonwood, I am sure there will be plenty of investors for a project like that. We could have had the Trafford centre that would have been a good bolt on. Our current town centre could then be re designed as a pedestrian local service area. Expanding on its cultural and historic history. We would benefit from the more trade and more tourists. There would be less traffic in and passing through the town.

It will never happen though. I wonder where the help is coming from? You only need to walk around the town loads and loads of shops have closed even in the golden square. With the footfall so low the remaining shops cannot stay open forever.

Without people spending money its doomed and with money as tight as it is, who in their mind would come to Warrington

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Do people actually prefer to shop in Widnes rather than Warrington? I can understand going to the Trafford Centre - but no disrespect to the good people of Widnes but what is there there that Warrington hasn't got?

 

Agreed Bridge street does look like a part of a ghost and is suffering but is this not part of the transition - badly managed yes and something needs urgent attention. Most of the shops leaving have done so because they have moved into the new complex. Perhaps it needs to take on a character of it's own and incentives given for firms to move in after all the historic building are in that street and Buttermarket.

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Widnes has all the shops that Warrington does in the main but has free parking for shoppers. Living in Westbrook, it is as easy to get to Widnes as it is to get into the centre of Warrington.

 

Widnes also has a market that in my opinion knocks ours into a cocked hat.

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I disagree with that Obs as any retail area can expand and attract more people, Take outlet village Ellesmere port they have had a steady build extension programme for many years. They are still planning more. People are creatures of comfort, they want to drive their car to the shop, buy their goods, put it in the car and go home. These are the spenders who bring prosperity not the pensioner going on a bus to buy a few items that then has to be carried around till its bus home time. Make a clear difference between the day and night economies.

 

The conditions for expansion run to a mathematical formula. Car parking is the biggest factor followed by choice of shops, get these right and you are making money. Add in a multiplier like restaurants, warmth, undercover and you are getting big time.

Growth is expansion and the more money that is coming in the more will follow. There is a saturation point, but Warrington is no where near. As we know it is going into steady decline which is a shame as it does have potential. Mal administration for years and years has brought this about.

 

Warrington does not match anything, they actively hate the motorist, there is almost no where to eat, They do have golden square but its not a very nice place anyway. Other amenities are scattered around the town, 20 years ago there was talk about putting in a dome cover for Market gate and joining Golden Sq, Cockhedge, and the market with covered streets, that was instantly dismissed.

For any town of this age car parking is a problem as it takes land but it can be over come, Widnes, Northwich, Bolton, Leigh, Wigan, St Helens have all found the solution. Its not rocket science and you do not need to bring in consultants to tell you where its going wrong. They just need to get in the car and go to another town shopping. Winwick road site should have a car park on it. One level underground, plus a ground and 1st floor make it free parking for 4 hours , very cheap for 6 and contract parking for 8+. About 2000 parking spaces, Express walkways to golden square, Give golden Sq a friendly makeover. Remove the gardens from Horsemarket and Buttermarket street and have large flat community activity areas. Enforce and expand the Town hall conservation area, all buildings must be clean and in good repair, Re start the retail small business initiative where if you are a small owner occupier business you get favourable rates and business support.

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The big flaw in your thesis LF, is that it is "car dependent" not good for the enviroment and guaranteed to ensure congestion. :( However, if folk start to live in the Town Centre - no need to use a car for shopping; and all of a sudden demand for shopping is increased WITHOUT the inclusion of road congestion. :wink:

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