Prince Charles helps Warwick charity working in Sierra Leone scoop award - The Leamington Observer

Prince Charles helps Warwick charity working in Sierra Leone scoop award

Leamington Editorial 20th Nov, 2019   0

PRINCE Charles has helped a district charity working in west Africa scoop a prestigious international award.

One World Link (OWL) was recognised for its town planning work in Sierra Leone after being highly commended by the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) in its 2019 awards for Outstanding Planning Achievement in the Commonwealth. Entries were received from around the world but OWL was the only UK entry even shortlisted.

One World Link, the friendship link between Warwick district and the city of Bo in Sierra Leone, has been working with Bo City Council for several years to develop a plan to guide the growth of the city.

Town planners from Warwick and Leamington teamed up with Prince Charles’ Prince’s Foundation and planning consultants Turley to deliver training and support for colleagues in Sierra Leone and have run several joint training workshops to help develop a plan for the city.

OWL’s Philip Clarke said: “It is a great honour for our work to be recognised in this way. Bo is currently a city of 175,000 people but, like many middle-sized African cities, is likely to grow massively in the next few years to three times this size by 2045.

“Sierra Leone does not have an effective planning system, so developing any type of meaningful plan for the city is challenging to say the least.

“We were, however, hugely encouraged by the way that local people in Bo, with no planning training, embraced the ideas behind developing their own plan. It was really important that the ideas for how Bo should grow should come from them.

“Hopefully the recognition from this award will give them further encouragement to take this important work forward.”

OWL will be travelling to Sierra Leone in January to undertake further training and continue their work.

Clive Harridge, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Planners and a Warwickshire resident, presented the award to Mr Clarke and John Archer at Leamington Town Hall.

He said: “The Commonwealth Association of Planners Awards champion the very best of planning from across the Commonwealth.

“The award winners were selected by an eminent independent panel of judges and I am hugely delighted that the work One World Link and its partners have been undertaking in Bo has been highly commended.

“The planning work in Bo which is ongoing is of the highest standard and is being used as a model for others to follow across the Commonwealth.”

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