Published: Monday, 24th Dec 2018

New proposals to redevelop Farnworth town centre for future generations have been revealed.

New proposals to redevelop Farnworth town centre for future generations have been revealed.
Ideas include creating new homes, opening a new community hub in the heart of the town centre, and improving connectivity to Farnworth Park.
Other suggestions include exploring alternative uses for publicly owned buildings such as the town hall and the library, and bringing library services into the heart of the town centre.
Urban regeneration specialists BDP, lead consultants on a new masterplan for the town centre, have drawn up the initial concepts.
This followed six months of community engagement with residents, councillors, businesses and partners to understand the needs and wishes of the local community.
The outline ideas were presented at the Farnworth Steering Group meeting on December 18.
And Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, has approved the proposals for consultation (on Wednesday, December 19).
A public consultation will take place from January 7 for four weeks via drop-in events and online surveys.
The findings will be used to shape a final masterplan document in Spring 2019.
The proposed redevelopment options for the town centre are based on six key themes:-
• Market precinct – looking at a residential led development with active ground floor town centre uses including retail, leisure and health and fitness
• A new community hub – introduction of a community hub to include some council and health services, a community forum and a café.
• Exploring options for reusing publicly owned buildings 
• Encouraging housing development on council and private owned land
• Extension of the leisure centre
• Continue to upgrade public realm – priorities are Cross Street link to Farnworth Park and University Campus.
Deputy Leader and Chair of the Steering Group, Cllr Adia, stressed that the ideas for Farnworth town centre were in the very early stages.
He added: “Through the community engagement work, which generated more than 500 responses, there are some key themes that people have identified.
“Residents have suggested a community facility, regular events, improving linkages and gateways into Farnworth as well as developing new facilities such as cafes and restaurants.
“The next step is to consult on the proposals with the public and key stakeholders before BDP shape a final masterplan document.
“We want to reassure people that at this stage these are initial options and things could change as we listen to what emerges through a consultation with residents, businesses and partners.
Francis Glare, BDP’s Director of Urbanism, added: “BDP is delighted to be working with the people and businesses of Farnworth, to bring forward a fresh vision for Farnworth town centre.
“Like many local town centres, Farnworth faces the challenges of declining ‘High Street’ shopping and increasing vacancy levels.
“At the same time Farnworth has several major assets including the University of Bolton Campus, leisure and health centres, national food store brands and comprehensive road, bus and rail connections.
“The vision for Farnworth will build on these assets to promote the town centre to existing and new residents, with new town centre living, business space, additional leisure, food and beverage choices and further upgrades to the public realm, to capture investment driven by Bolton and Greater Manchester’s housing and economic growth plans.”
Details of how to get involved in the consultation will be published in the new year.