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Master plan for town park


A MASTER plan to develop Warrington’s Sankey Valley Park as a major regional visitor attraction and “resort” has been unveiled.
Town Hall chiefs estimate the project will be worth £27 million to the local economy as a direct result of development new attractions, facilities and improvements – and will have an economic value of £8.8 million a year from attracting new visitors.
The plan has been developed by a partnership consisting of the borough council, Gulliver’s World theme park, tourism chiefs and the North West Development Agency, which funded the master plan.
A report to the council’s executive board says Sankey Valley is one of the most important regeneration, green space and visitor economy opportunities in Warrington. With “huge potential.”
Gulliver’s World already attracts around 500,000 visitors a year and plans to expand.
Currently the park suffers from a lack of investment, vandalism and community safety issues.
But it has the historic Sankey Canal, dating from 1755, the 13th century Bewsey Old Hall, (pictured) and areas of open space and woodland which, if better managed, would be a significant leisure and landscape resource.
The master plan envisages four main areas.
A central park would be focussed around a new visitor hub next to the canal and Bewsey Old Hall and gardens.
The “Village” would be an area of family accommodation with cabins, group lodges, camping pods and touring caravsns.
The “Meadows” would provide a unique indoor role play park, farm and eco park with a “rewetted” section of canal and improved access for pedestrians and cyclists.
Finally there would be a theme park building on the existing Gulliver’s World with a new hotel and Burtonwood Airbase attraction.
It is estimated the project could create up to 248 jobs, providing employment opportunities for the nearby Dallam and Bewsey areas.
The report makes no mention of the recent controversial planning decision to allow Bewsey Old Hall to be converted into apartments, with three additional blocks of apartments in its grounds.
But campaigners are hoping the master plan may make it possible to save the hall as a community asset.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


  1. Am I just being daft here…… BUT WHY WAN’T this MASTERPLAN ever mentioned BEFORE NOW ie before or during the appeal enquiry which has just led to the approval by the government inspector for Urban Splash to turn Bewsey Old hall into flats and build on it’s grounds.

    Answers please WBC (et al) as it seems a rather important factor to me which could have had the Urban Splash appeal dismissed !!!!! Surely the members of the council who were campaigning so hard to save Bewsey Old Hall must have got wind of the proposals if a report was being produced and has subsequently been submitted to the Council’s Executive Board ???? If I am missing something or I am being too logical then I appologise in advance

  2. It was mentioned but the Urban Splash barrister disassmbled it quite easily as pie in the sky no funding no chance of getting off the ground.

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