Warrington grants final planning approval for Orford Park

Michael Hunt

Plans for the £30m Orford Park project have been granted final planning permission by Warrington Borough Council.

The project is a regeneration initiative which aims to provide sport, health and community facilities on a 50-acre former landfill site between Winwick Road and Orford Park as well as enhance facilities of an adjacent Victorian community park.

A £3.9m Diploma Centre forms part of the scheme which has received funding from the Government's Department for Children, Schools and Families through its exemplar diploma initiative.

The development is being funded by an integrated funding partnership with the North West Development Agency, Sport England North West Region, the Big Lottery Fund, the Football Foundation, as well as support from the DCSF.

The council said it has been supported by Capita Symonds' leisure and project management teams on the site masterplan.

The project is being led by Warrington Borough Council in partnership with The Orford Neighbourhood Project, Warrington Collegiate, Warrington Wolves, William Beamont High School, Warrington Disability Partnership, Network Warrington and the Warrington PCT.

The park is expected to attract two million visitors a year and is expected to be complete by November next year.

Ian Marks, leader of Warrington Borough Council, said: "This project plays an important part in the vision for Warrington to become an 'outstanding town' for all its people. The scheme will regenerate a site at a key route into the town, attract private sector investment and enable Warrington to play a major role in providing a long-term 2012 Olympic legacy in the North West."

Andy Farrall, executive director of environment and regeneration at the council, added: "The Council and its partners will now move quickly to begin construction of this imaginative and nationally important project. It is key to the regeneration of the community and in the development of sport and healthy lifestyles in the borough."

Final site plans and floor plans for construction, which is due to begin in early 2010, will be displayed at venues around the Orford Ward as well as council venues in the town centre.

The council published a tender in August last year inviting expressions of interest for a 16-month construction contract.

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