Orford Park, Warrington

Project description

The project is the transformation of a former landfill site to create a self-sustaining sports village. It will bring the provision of leisure, education, health, disability and community services to one site in Warrington, whilst also improving the local environment and regenerating the existing park.

Aims and objectives

  • To regenerate the area using sport, leisure, health, education and lifelong learning facilities to increase the well-being and quality of life of the local population
  • To develop innovative sport, physical activity, community and health programmes to increase participation in such areas and address community and health inequalities
  • To improve lifelong learning, the local skill base and potential for employment in the local community
  • To provide sporting pathways from participation through to a regional centre of excellence
  • To ensure that improvements in health as well opportunities in sport, community and education are available to all.

Services offered

The project will offer community leisure facilities including state-of-the-art swimming and fitness facilities. It will also provide flexible areas for voluntary and community groups as well as office and meeting room space for community and general use.

The centre will include a GP practice and primary care trust centre covering lifestyles and more general purpose health services including physiotherapy, podiatry (chiropody) and occupational therapy. There will also be some space for visiting consultants to run out-patient clinics which will have a special emphasis on mobility (for example, cardiology, orthopaedics and rheumatology).

Benefits of co-location

Linking together a number of services with a series of common goals attracts a broad range of groups to use facilities. The facilities will allow people to use services ranging from clinics to playgroups through to day care for older people in one location.

It will provide a sustainable legacy within local communities and offer wider social benefits in areas such as health, education and training, social inclusion, crime reduction and improved civic pride.

The retail outlet(s) will provide a rental income stream which will support other elements of the project, such as sports development.

Success factors

The key success factors are linked to the following targets:

  • An increased uptake in use of the facility from residents of the local wards
  • An increase in the total number of people taking part in sport and physical activities
  • The number of full-time equivalent or part time jobs created or safeguarded by the project
  • An increase in the number of people referred by a health professional to sport and active recreation activities on site who take part until the end of the prescribed course
  • The number of people gaining sports and non-sports related qualifications.

Risk factors

How the project is financed will be the critical challenge in taking the project forward. Innovative ways to fund the facility both in capital and revenue terms are currently being investigated and taken forward.

Business/operational model

Current plans propose that a dowry model be set up to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the community, leisure and mixed-use schemes.

The dowry model creates a revenue fund that will be used to maintain the physical fabric of the facility in the long-term and allow for programmes that will increase participation from target groups.

The dowry fund will be administered by the dowry guardian (steering group), which will include representation from all key groups. It will ensure that the revenue is spent appropriately and in line with the aims of the facility.

Financing and delivery/procurement

The project team has identified current funding sources including Warrington Borough Council, Warrington PCT, Warrington Collegiate, Warrington Wolves and a number of other granting bodies, such as the Football Foundation, Big Lottery Fund, Sport England, NWDA and BSF.

Warrington Borough Council will take the lead in procuring the facility through a design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM) structure and with a design and build approach for the PCT facility.

Measurement and review

Example of the developing monitoring framework for Ortford Park

Contact details

Orford Park
Project Manager

Orford Park Project Office
Bewsey Old School
Lockton Lane
T: 01925 246 492


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