Introduction to Area
The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Town Centre Challenge provides Bolton with an opportunity to unlock Farnworth’s potential, both in terms of community and economic value. A new vision for Farnworth has been developed that focusses on both the place and also its people.
Farnworth is part of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Town Centre Challenge, created by the Greater Manchester Mayor in a bid to re-energise town centres in need of regeneration by supporting the building of new housing developments. It is a proactive approach to urban development, with the Mayor pledging to bring together public and private landowners, developers, investors, housing providers, community groups and other key stakeholders. It represents a new and concerted effort to support Greater Manchester’s local authorities to realise the potential in town centres, with a particular emphasis on achieving sustainable communities featuring thriving housing markets.
As part of this work, the Council is developing has developed a Town Centre Strategy including a masterplan for Farnworth that reflects the Bolton Vision 2030 of “creating a vibrant place, built on strong cohesive communities, successful business and healthy residents ensuring it is a welcoming place where people choose to study, work and put down roots.”
Farnworth town centre Strategy and Masterplan
The council formally approved the new town centre Strategy for Farnworth and Masterplan on the 8th July 2019, following wide-scale consultation with residents. The Strategy includes target interventions, masterplan framework and economic benefits. Target interventions include the creation of a new community and civic hub in the heart of the town centre, improved public realm, redevelopment of the Market Precinct and extending the leisure centre.
Farnworth Town Centre Strategy Report
Farnworth Town Centre Masterplan
The Farnworth town centre Strategy will be delivered in phases over a number of years. An action plan with appropriate priorities, output measures and indicators will be developed enabling annual monitoring and review reports overseen by the Director of Place and Assistant Director Economic Development and Regeneration and members of the Farnworth town centre Steering Group.
On the 21st January 2019 Cabinet approved a £12m allocation of funding from the £100m Town Centre Strategy Fund to be create strategies and masterplans in consultation with the local community and support targeted intervention in Farnworth, Horwich, Westhoughton and Little Lever town centres where they will ultimately attract private sector investment and secure development proposals. The level of funding given to any town centre will depend on the overall content and quality of the strategy and masterplan and the level of support needed to initiate development.
On the 20th February 2019 Full Council approved an additional £4m of funding from the 2019/20 Capital Programme for further investment in district centres, primarily in Farnworth town centre.
BDP were appointed in October to prepare masterplans for Horwich, Little Lever and Westhoughton town centres. The draft masterplans are currently out for a period of public consultation from 27th January until 23rd February 2020.
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An expression of interest submitted for up to £25 million funding from the Future High Streets Fund Farnworth town centre has successfully reached the next stage in the process, development of the business case.
The Future High Streets Fund was launched in December 2018 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to help high streets adapt and meet changing consumer expectations; not just to survive but to thrive. Providing co-funding towards capital projects that bring transformative change wanting to see the regeneration of town centres through innovative proposals around transport, housing delivery and public services.
The draft business case was submitted on 15th January 2020. The final business case is due to be submitted on 30th April 2020 with the outcome expected in Summer 2020.