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Points of Interest: Warrington
Warrington is situated in Cheshire on the banks of the River Mersey. It is in close proximity to both Liverpool and Manchester but is a thriving town in its own right with a population of over 200,000.
It was founded by the Romans due its position on the River Mersey, but by the Middle Ages it had emerged as a market town. The expansion of Warrington coincided with the developments in travel and the industrial revolution. Warrington became a manufacturing town, heavily reliant on steel (particularly wire), textiles, brewing and chemical industries.
Many towns that find themselves nearby large cities end up struggling to compete, but Warrington is breaking that trend. It has one of the largest shopping centres in North West England and manages to fight off competition from Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and the Trafford Centre.
One of the factors in Warrington’s success as a top shopping centre is the town centre’s modernisation over recent year. The Golden Square shopping mall has been extended to include a Debenhams store, while the old Cockhedge Textile Mill was replaced with Cockhedge Shopping Park.
The out-of-town shopping area, Gemini Retail Park, is best known for being the site of the UK’s first IKEA, but it also has one of the biggest Marks and Spencers - second only to London - a Toys ‘R’ Us and Next.
Culture Warrington is a charitable trust delivering arts and heritage events in the area. It operates from the Pyramid & Parr Hall, which are two leading arts and entertainment venues, as well as the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, boasting 200,000 objects covering ethnology, archaeology, and more.
The main sport in the town is Rugby League, with Warrington Wolves, who are the only team to have played every season in the top flight.
They won the Challenge Cup in 2009, 2010 and 2012, after a 30 year drought.