The fourth Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan album, The Nation’s Most Central Location, will be released on 19 May 2023. This album sees Gordon Chapman-Fox (the man behind Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan) explore the north-south divide and reflect on 40 years of broken ‘levelling up’ promises.
With eight tracks across 40 minutes, the album offers Gordon’s usual mix of mournful remorse and upbeat optimism. Gordon has now added an underlying anger that burns through on tracks such as London’s Moving Our Way and A Brighter And More Prosperous Future.
The album title and the track ‘London’s Moving Our Way’ come from a 1980s TV advert asking businesses to relocate to Warrington and Runcorn, but it also reflects that, while the geographical centre of the UK is in the North, everything still flows to London.
“I am, admittedly, a Northerner with a colossal chip on my shoulder,” says Gordon, as he explains the album’s theme. “But it’s not really about London or Londoners. It’s more the political systems and flows of money that have all drained to the South – and from there into offshore trusts – that are the issue.”
The overtly political mood comes to the fore on this album because it was written against a backdrop of Boris Johnson trying to deflect from the Partygate enquiries by talking about his ‘Levelling Up’ agenda. Understandably, feelings of anger and bitterness have seeped in, diluting the the optimism of the first two Warrington-Runcorn albums, and last year’s more socially-distanced Districts, Roads, Open Space .