Cheshire town chosen ahead of Preston and Chester
Fresh inquests into the deaths of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster will be held in Warrington next year.
Coroner Lord Justice Goldring confirmed the Cheshire town as the preferred location for the hearings with the precise location to be provided “in due course”.
The Post understands the Peace Centre and the Centre Park complex are both being mooted as possible venues.
Relatives of those killed in the tragedy today welcomed the decision to choose Warrington, which will provide easy access from Merseyside.
At a preliminary hearing earlier this year in support of holding the hearing in either the North West or London, Lord Justice Goldring made it clear he believed families should be able to travel to and from the inquests each day as easily as possible.
Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died in the tragedy, said she was “absolutely happy” with Warrington.
Mrs Aspinall, of Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: “I'm very pleased with it because we had to make it easy for the families to get there.
“It is nice knowing we can get the train from Lime Street where the service is regular.
“It was important to us that the families could go back to their homes in the evening without having to travel a long way.
“Warrington makes it so much more simple.”
Warrington's proximity to the M62, M6 and M56 will have worked heavily in its favour, with key witnesses needing to come from Sheffield, London and other parts of the country.
The town also has two train stations, Bank Quay – serving the West Coast mainline – and Central, serving Lime Street.
Both investigations into the disaster, which the coroner will rely on, are also based in Warrington.
Sheila Coleman, of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, added: “We are happy with Warrington as a location. We fought for the inquests to be in the north west and said we weren’t bothered where, as long as it wasn’t Liverpool.”
Verdicts of accidental death recorded at the original Hillsborough inquest in March 1991 were quashed following the findings of the Independent Panel last year.
A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed: “The coroner, Lord Justice Goldring, has now informed the Interested Persons in the Hillsborough inquests that he has identified Warrington as the preferred location for the inquests.”