Global interest in Healthy New Town Design Challenge, Halton community asked to contribute.

The vision of a Healthy New Town for Halton Lea takes a step closer to reality with the results of a global design challenge released today.

Halton Lea was selected as one of NHS England’s 10 Healthy New Towns demonstrator sites in March 2016. The ‘healthy new town’ concept aims to shape the health of communities and rethink how health and care services can be delivered within communities. At the heart of Halton Lea are the two acute hospitals and mental health facility at the Brooker centre as well as two GP practices.

As part of the national programme, a global innovation design challenge was launched with particular focus on Halton Lea. The challenge, run by Innocentive – a US-based company that specialises in life-science projects – was open to innovators in architecture, urban design, planning and beyond with 34 high quality submissions received from all over the world, including the USA, Spain, India and Japan.

The winner of the challenge, London-based Citiesmode, submitted 15 project ideas and many of the ideas will be taken forward in the masterplan of the development, these covered five themes:

  • Integrated and flexible health and care infrastructure – encourages a seamless design from health services to wider community amenities
  • Design healthy workplaces, schools and leisure facilities – a ‘neighbourhood home’ and community kitchen in the centre of the development
  • Create connected neighbourhoods, strong communities and inclusive public spaces – a ‘Halton Square’ creating a destination for the community, making best use of space to drive the economy and create a place to socialise
  • Build healthier homes and environments – high quality building certification as standard for new buildings on the development
  • Tackle unhealthy environments – making Halton walkable and cycle-able ,with good design and innovative signage

David Parr, Chief Executive of Halton Borough Council said of the challenge “This unique ‘Design Challenge’ has provided Halton’s Healthy New Town project with not one, but a variety of novel approaches to explore further, as we strive to create healthier neighbourhoods, connected by a strong sense of community that is firmly focused on individual wellbeing and opportunities for all. We will continue to develop these approaches combined with additional ideas and insights from local people, as part of our digital communication strategy. This will ensure we capture local perceptions of what makes a Healthy New Town.”

Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, home of the two hospitals at the centre of the Halton Lea healthy new town said that she welcomed this major milestone in the HNT vision. “The trust has long championed a vision of being at the heart of the community through a modern, smaller acute hospital with integrated primary, wellbeing, community and social care support functions all working together around the needs of the patient and the community. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something truly transformational for our populations.

Our hospitals are a source of great pride to our staff and the people of Halton and it is important to help them visualise what the future might look like. I am now really keen to get their thoughts, views and inputs on the designs so we can all build something better, together.”

Insight work has already started in Halton with children from Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy and Hallwood Park Primary School contributing their ideas. Adults will have opportunities to contribute at two further events at Halton Library later this month on 17th and 23rd August. The trust will also hold a Healthy New Town open day to coincide with its Annual Members Meeting on 12th September 2017.

The design challenge winner was chosen by a panel comprising representatives from Halton Borough Council, Halton CCG, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS England.

Children from Hallwood Park’s vision for their Healthy New Town