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England's Great Places 2015

Liverpool Waterfront

16 December 2015


Liverpool Waterfront has today been crowned the overall winner in England's Great Places, a nationwide competition organised by the RTPI to show off the diverse places that planners and the planning system have created, protected and enhanced for communities.

Over 11,000 people voted on a shortlist of 10 places, with Liverpool Waterfront emerging as the most popular place.

Liverpool Waterfront

Thame High Street in Thame, Oxfordshire and Saltaire, the World Heritage Site-designated historic village near Bradford are second and third respectively.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy RTPI President Janet Askew

Presenting the award to Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member of Regeneration, Transport and Climate Change (pictured right), at Albert Docks today, RTPI President Janet Askew said:

"Liverpool's leaders and all those involved should be congratulated for showing what planning and planners can do to make the most out of England's stunning heritage to create vibrant, beautiful places for people to live and work. Coming as I do from Merseyside, I know that the Liverpool Waterfront, a source of immense civic pride, has a special place in the heart of Liverpudlians, as the popularity of the competition has shown. 

"I am delighted that Liverpool's World Heritage Site, as the embodiment of Liverpool's proud maritime history and recognised the world over, has been voted as England's Greatest Place. It is a timely reminder, against a backdrop of budget cuts to local councils, how vital planning is, and how desperately important it is to ensure that planning is properly resourced to be at the heart of society." 

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:

"We are absolutely delighted to have been voted as one of England's greatest places.

"Our waterfront is an iconic location recognised around the world, with millions of tourists heading to the World Heritage Site each year to visit the attractions and businesses who have made the area a unique experience.  As a city, we don't stand still, and over the past ten years Liverpool has been transformed through a number of regeneration projects, some of which has taken place in and around the waterfront.  Due to the nature and status of the area, these investments are always dealt with sensitively and the developments only go ahead if they add value to the city and the people who live, work and visit here.

"This accolade is recognition of the work of all of our partners including the Waterfront Partnership to strive to ensure the area reaches its full and breath-taking potential."

Joanne Harding, Chair of the RTPI North West, said: "It is not surprising that Liverpool's Waterfront has been voted England's Greatest Place. The Waterfront is fabulous, it is iconic and it is loved by many. The changes that it has seen over the last 30 years have been carefully planned and delivered to provide the vibrant waterfront we enjoy today. We are proud to have such a wonderful asset within our area."

Liverpool Waterfront was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in July 2004, ranking Liverpool alongside other internationally known historic cities such as Edinburgh, Bath, Vienna, and Venice.


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About the competition 

Our eminent panel of judges selected the 10 best places in England from the places that you nominated based on the role planners have played in helping to create, protect or shape them for England's communities. 

Letchworth Garden City _edit

Letchworth Garden City, East of England 

Letchworth Garden City is of great historical importance.  It was the first garden city, deliberately planned to balance the need for decent housing, recreation, amenities and access. It remains highly valued as a great place to live, work and visit. 


Peak District _edit

Peak District, East Midlands

The Peak District is the first National Park- a great place that has been managed by the planning system to conserve and enhance its unique characteristics.  It is an astonishing achievement to have protected such a beautiful place over so many years given the pressures on it from the surrounding urban centres.


Brindleyplace Canal

Brindleyplace,  Birmingham, West Midlands

Through the planning system the historic character of this canal-side re-development has created a great place for the local community and visitors.  It is a vibrant, walkable area with a wide variety of shops and businesses operating from the imaginatively re-purposed buildings which date back to the industrial revolution.   


Kings Cross Regeneration _edit

Kings Cross Regeneration, London

Kings Cross Regeneration is a great place and international gateway to the UK. What was once a declining area is now a hub for creative and technology industries with fantastic public spaces for all to enjoy.  It is being transformed through exemplary planning.


Kielder Park And Water _edit

Kielder Water & Forest Park, North East

Kielder is a great place which has been created, managed and enhanced through sensitive planning providing a beautiful and distinctive area –including being one of the first "dark sky" areas  for visitors and the community 


Liverpool _Waterfront _medal _small

Liverpool Waterfront, North West

Liverpool waterfront is a mix and balance of contemporary development in a World Heritage site setting. The regeneration  has transformed this area into a vibrant place and a cherished place for locals and visitors alike. There is a great degree of pride in Liverpool for this place. 


Thame High Street _edit

Thame High Street, South East

Good planning over a long period has protected and  enhanced the character of this small market town and the High Street, and it now has the benefits of one of the first neighbourhood plans. It is an example of exemplary community support and careful, sensitive planning. 



Bath, South West 

Planning has been able to help conserve this historic city. It has protected the historic attributes of the city whilst helping manage development in a sensitive way. As a unique example of town planning, architecture and landscape it has received UNESCO heritage status. 


Bristol _edit

Bristol, South West

Bristol is a great modern and inclusive city that is a thriving centre for popular culture, food, environmental activities - everything in the mix. It has a strong heritage and regional identity. It also has a "legible cities initiative" to improve people's understanding and experience of the city.


Saltaire _edit

Saltaire, Yorkshire

Saltaire has been managed and planned to retain the character of a Victorian model village. The restored mills now house small businesses and apartments.  Sensitive and skilful  planning has protected the essence of this unique historic settlement and kept it a beautiful place. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.   



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