The ambitious vision to make central Warrington a happy, healthy, prosperous, clean and green place has been shortlisted for a prestigious planning prize.

Warrington’s Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan has been named as a finalist in the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021.

The awards are the most established and respected in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Adopted as a core council policy last year, the development of Warrington’s Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan was fully informed and led by local communities. More than 2,500 residents of the Central 6 wards - Orford, Poplars and Hulme, Bewsey and Dallam, Fairfield and Howley, Latchford East and Latchford West – shared their views on building a thriving future for central Warrington.

A series of drop-in events and workshop sessions were held at more than 30 locations, along with online engagement, leading to a series of long and short-term projects being identified as critical for the future of the community, including:

• Creating greater accessibility to services, higher quality places and living environments

• Making more of green spaces for leisure and wellbeing

• Better opportunities for people to improve health and wellbeing by participating in the local economy

• A movement network that has choices for how people get around, with walking and cycling becoming increasingly easy and attractive.

Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for leisure and community, Cllr Tony Higgins, said: “The idea behind the masterplan was for the community to identify what they liked and wanted to protect or enhance in their areas, and to empower them to share their ideas and aspirations for a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future.

“Working closely with consultants KMA and the Central 6 Board, our priority was to fully engage the community in the plans – and we were absolutely delighted with the response we received from local people.

“From school pupils to lunch clubs and college students; and from football supporters and Mosque worshippers, to the businesses sector and health support groups, the development of the plan was a fantastic example of the whole community collaborating to achieve great things.

“It is local people who have made the Central 6 masterplan what it is, and I’m delighted that their important contribution has been recognised nationally.”

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said: “Many congratulations to all the finalists at this year’s RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence – these projects, teams and individuals showcase the very best of the planning profession from all the RTPI’s regions and nations and from countries around the world.

“For over 40 years, these prestigious awards have celebrated the exceptional work undertaken by town planners. In the middle of a global pandemic, I believe they are more relevant than ever before, recognising the incredible commitment and dedication of planners who have risen to the challenge of responding to the impacts of Covid-19 on the planning system.

“I wish all the finalists the very best of luck at the ceremony.”

Warrington’s Central 6 Regeneration Masterplan has been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Plan Making Practice’ category. The winners will be announced during a ceremony held virtually in the Awards Room on Evessio at 4pm on Thursday 29 April 2021.

The RTPI champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. It is the only body in the UK that confers Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification sought after by employers. It supports its members – over 26,000 worldwide - throughout their careers.

For more information on the awards, visit rtpi.org.uk