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Innovative projects put Liverpool City Region in the running for 2 national planning awards

THE Liverpool City Region's innovative approach to spatial development has seen 2 projects shortlisted for prestigious national planning awards. Judges at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Excellence shortlisted the Combined Authority's Natural Capital work for the Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment category; while LCR Listens: Our Places, its engagement project to understand local people's views on where they live, also made the final in the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category.

LCRCA's Natural Capital work, which is part of its Spatial Development Strategy, carefully considers the environment in new developments by finding opportunities to include Green Infrastructure and habitat provision. Benefits include the improvement of air quality, access to nature and associated health benefits, flood and climate regulation and support of local communities to underpin a more resilient and healthier economy in the Liverpool City Region. The Spatial Development Strategy will be the blue print for development over the next 20 years, aiming to make the City Region a more prosperous, healthier and greener place to live, work, invest in, and visit.

LCR Listens: Our Places specifically targeted people from groups who traditionally do not engage with planning in their area. The engagement project set out to try and understand local people's views on where they live, to shape the creation of the Spatial Development Strategy. Of 2500 respondents, more than 42% were young people, more than ½ were from neighbourhoods among the most deprived 10% in the country, and 18% were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Running for more than 40 years, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry, celebrating exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:- "Being nominated for these 2 awards highlights the imaginative and innovative approach we are bringing to our strategic planning work. It's fitting that we should be nominated in these 2 categories. Tackling the climate crisis has been o1 of my key priorities since I was elected and our work on Natural Capital is helping to bring environmental considerations to the heart of the planning process in an innovative way. Devolution has meant bringing decisions closer to the people, so it is really great that we are receiving recognition for ensuring that every community has the opportunity to shape our development for the next 20 years."

Councillor Graham Morgan, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Planning at the Combined Authority and Knowsley Council Leader, said:- "To achieve two nominations recognises the hard work of all of the team and it deserves particular congratulations in the current climate of the Covid19 Pandemic. It's so important for local communities to be involved in the creation of these policies as they will influence many aspects of our lives for a long time to come and influence how leaders make decisions for the area."

RTPI President Wei Yang FRTPI said:- "Many congratulations to all the finalists at this year's RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence; these projects, teams and individuals showcase the very best of the planning profession from all the RTPI's Regions and nations and from countries around the world. For over 40 years, these prestigious awards have celebrated the exceptional work undertaken by Town planners. In the middle of a global Pandemic, I believe they are more relevant than ever before, recognising the incredible commitment and dedication of planners who have risen to the challenge of responding to the impacts of Covid19, on the planning system. I wish all the finalists the very best of luck at the ceremony on 29 April 2021."

Tickets Now On Sale For The Return Of Racing At Chester

AFTER a year of racing behind closed doors, Chester Race Company Ltd., is today looking forward to becoming one of the 1st major events in the country to welcome back full capacity crowds. And to kick start the big return to racing, the racecourse will be unveiling a new £1M Champagne Garden enabling visitors to get close to all of the action in the Paddock and Parade Ring; home to the winning horses, jockeys, owners and trainers! This exclusive area, which is under cover, will offer a hosted table service, along with exclusive betting facilities and live entertainment; all of this, together with some of the most spectacular views across the famous racecourse. The Government’s proposed 21 June 2021, date for the end of all Covid19 restrictions is perfectly timed with the start of the summer season at Chester; just days before Clogau Ladies Evening, on Friday, 25 June 2021 and the Summer Festival, on Saturday, 26 June 2021. Tickets will be on sale for both of these events from 15 March 2021. Tickets will also be available from this date for the remaining seven fixtures of the summer and autumn seasons at Chester, including:-

9 July - Ladies and Gents’ Evening.

10 July - City Plate Day.

21 August - Ladies Day.

10 September - Autumn Festival Friday.

11 September - Autumn Festival Saturday.

25 September - Event name to be confirmed.

2 October - Season Finale.

Richard Thomas, Chief Executive of Chester Race Company Ltd., said:- "We are delighted we are now in a position to welcome back visitors to our magnificent racecourse and go on sale with tickets. It has been a long year without the wonderful atmosphere of racing fans around the course. We are expecting there to be a huge demand as people can finally look forward to leaving their homes, meeting with friends again and enjoying social get together. The 2021 season at Chester promises to be one packed with the very best in hospitality and 1st class racing; all in 1 magnificent and magical historical location!"

There will be a variety of hospitality packages available throughout the season whether it is a day / evening out with a group of friends, or a special celebration for a birthday or Anniversary. Meanwhile, Chester Racecourse had been working hard behind the scenes with a mass testing plan which would have allowed a limited number of spectators at the Boodles May Festival. Unfortunately, the most recent Government restrictions mean those plans will be put on hold and the Boodles May Festival will be held behind closed doors. Racing fans can, however, still continue to enjoy all of the action from home by tuning into Sky Sports Racing or following the Chester Racecourse social media channels.

Racing started in Chester; the oldest operating racecourse in the world; on Shrove Tuesday in 1539 and in nearly 500 years there have only been 3 major stoppages; the:- English Civil War, World War 1 and World War 2. When racing was reinstated in 1946, the pent up demand resulted in a record attendance of 103,993 race goers on Cup Day.

Tickets for the 2021 season are available from:- Chester-Races.Com.

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