Warrington in Cheshire lies east of Liverpool and west of Manchester. It was founded by Romans at an important crossing place on the River Mersey, and by the Middle Ages, it emerged as a market town at the lowest bridging point of the river. A local tradition of textile and tool production dates from this time. In spite of its proximity to significant retail areas in Manchester, Liverpool and Chester, Warrington continues to have one of the larger shopping centres in the North West. In fact, IKEA chose Warrington as the location for their first store when they came to the UK.
Contrary to what some might say, Warrington has a rich cultural offering. It boasts a concert hall, arts centre, three museums and a cinema, and a number of festivals, carnivals and walking days are held annually in the area. Regular free classical music concerts take place in Holy Trinity Church, while the Neighbourhood Weekender Music Festival runs during the May bank holiday weekend. A number of popular entertainers hail from the town including George Formby, Sue Johnston, Pete Postlethwaite, George Sampson, Tim Curry, Ian Brown and Chris Evans.
The town’s retail centres provide great employment opportunities for local residents. However, the main employers in the borough are Warrington Council and Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, the town has become a top destination for commercial activity and is home to a host of successful companies and well-known brands. There is a large Unilever factory in the town, where detergents are made, and ESR Technology’s main operations are also located in Warrington.
Transport-wise, Warrington has two main railway stations. Bank Quay is on the West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Glasgow Central and the Manchester Piccadilly to North Wales via Chester line, while Warrington Central is on the Liverpool to Manchester line with through services to the North East and to East Anglia. The town lies close to the M62, M6 and M56 motorways, and is midway between Liverpool and Manchester airports, so residents can take their pick! What’s more, Warrington’s Own Buses, one of the few municipal bus companies to survive in public ownership, runs most bus services within the town.
The University of Chester has a campus at Padgate while the town is home to two colleges, Priestley Sixth Form and Community College and Warrington Collegiate. There are 69 primary schools in the borough, and most of the 14 high schools also offer their own post-16 provision.
As for house prices, the overall average price for Warrington last year was £220,980, which is 4 per cent up on the previous year. With its great schools and excellent property at lower prices than many neighbouring towns and cities, you can see why many so many people choose to move to Warrington, here at the heart of England’s North West.