Place Caps at Manchester K, via George MacMillan and Ashley McCormick

Could a Place North West cap improve your run time? There's only one way to find out... Credit: via George MacMillan and Ashley McCormick


GOING PLACES… We get a special little thrill when we see our Place North West caps in the wild. Kudos to Caroline Baker of Cushman & Wakefield and George MacMillan of Kuits for sporting this season’s hottest accessory during the AJ Bell Greater Manchester Run last weekend. Looking fly.

Croxteth Miniature Railway, p Liverpool City Council

Croxteth’s narrow gauge network s being brought back to life. Credit: via Liverpool City Council

ON TRACK… Miniature railways seem quintessentially British, a reminder of a simpler time when life’s worries could be blasted away by hurtling around a garden centre on a narrow gauge train. Built in 1981, Croxteth Park Miniature Railway will reopen next month following a successful campaign to bring the attraction back. Local resident Kevin Brown and his team of volunteers have cleared the route, unearthed the rails, and restored 90% of the original track. Tickets for the grand reopening of Croxteth Miniature Railway on Sunday 9 June are available now – book here.

Shawn Sharpe Mural, Shawn Sharpe, p Charlotte Leach Communications

Shawn Sharpe’s third Preston masterpiece is shrouded in secrecy. Credit: via Charlotte Leach Communications

MURAL… Murals are an effective way of injecting life into otherwise dreary elevations and THING has featured many over the years. 42 individual pieces of artwork are planned to spruce up a rather drab-looking wall at Stockport train station. The Stockport-themed murals will populate the eastern wall of the train station on Station Road. They will feature depictions of the nearby town hall, Stockport’s recently promoted Hatters, and the iconic viaduct. 

In Preston, Shawn Sharpe is a serial muralist. You may already be familiar with his work – he is the man behind Mother, a huge artwork of a woman clinging to a lamb. Sharpe is currently crowdfunding for his third Preston mural, which will adorn Alliance House on Ormskirk Road. As you can see from the blurred-out image above, the details are being kept under wraps. Can you guess what it is?

Eastgate Street in Chester, c Julia Hatmaker for Place North Wes

Chester attracts tourists from around the world. Credit: PNW

LEVY LOOPHOLE… Chester could soon become the latest UK city to introduce a tourist tax if it decides to follow Manchester and Liverpool through a legal loophole. There is currently no mechanism in place to allow councils to introduce the kind of tourist taxes that are common-place in mainland Europe and the government has no plans to change this. However, Manchester and Liverpool’s “legal workarounds” have allowed the cities to take advantage of high visitor numbers and raise some extra cash through their BIDs.

Manchester’s levy, which came into force in 2023, raised just shy of £3m in its first year and Chester BID is hoping it can raise around £1m by charging visitors £2 a night to stay in the historic city. The money would be invested in tourism events, festivals, and improved visitor services. Perhaps the powers that be might consider splashing a bit of cash on the city’s Roman walls – the council estimates £11m is required to carry out required maintenance.

St Giles Parish Church in Wrexham c Leon S on Unsplash

The Local Development Plan for Wrexham has proved contentious. Credit: Leon S on Unsplash

PLANNING DRAMA… Who needs reality TV when you have Wrexham County Council? The local development plan saga continues with a new chapter. To recap: last summer, Wrexham councillors voted twice against the local plan their council had spent the past decade developing. Then, that autumn a judge ruled that those two votes were invalid and that councillors were obligated to approve the framework – or face being held in contempt of court. All seemed resolved by December, when the county council approved the document, despite a dramatic walkout by members of the Plaid Cymru party.

But the planning drama is far from over, with the Court of Appeal set to review the last year’s judicial decision last year. The date for the appeal is set for 15 October. Will the local plan be defeated? Will councillors receive a second judicial putdown? Only time will tell – but we’ve got the popcorn ready.

Your Comments

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I support the tourist tax if the money is spent on keeping cities cleaner will better public realm, unfortunately I see little evidence of this in Manchester City Centre.

By Anonymous

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