Social impact developer CAPITAL&CENTRIC has launched a public consultation on £50m plans to transform the former Farnworth market precinct into a vibrant new town centre community.
The consultation launch follows the recently agreed deal between Bolton Council and the stars of BBC2 documentary Manctopia to regenerate the site and drive forward a key part of the local authority’s masterplan for rejuvenating the town centre.
Farnworthians, Kearsleyites and Boltonians are being asked what they think about the proposals for around 200 modern homes around a new public square and flexible indoor community space with a village hall feel. The vision is to create a new bustling destination for artisan markets, live events, art galleries and pop-ups for foodies. New images of how the site could look have been released by the social impact developer to help residents provide their feedback on the scheme.
A new linear park linking to Farnworth Central Park — bringing green open space right to the doorstep of the new community — is planned. Locals are also being asked what sort of amenities they would like to see included as part of the market precinct reboot, with the developer throwing a number of ideas into the mix such as café-bars, delis, a mini-cinema, gym and co-working space for workers and businesses to base themselves.
Located on King Street in the heart of the town centre, the site is a short walk from the train station with easy access into Bolton and Manchester, and on the doorstep of the refurbished bus station, making it an ideal location for commuters.
Tim Heatley, Co-Founder of CAPITAL&CENTRIC said: “It’s been talked about for a while now, but I think 2021 will be the watershed year for rebooting and levelling up our town centres. To get them thriving again we need to bring people into the town centre, so we’re bringing homes of a quality seen in the city centre right into the heart of Farnworth. These will sit alongside all the other bits you need to make a proper community, so tons of outside space, with a new public square and linear park, and a new indoor community space for events and pop ups.
“We’ll also have all the other parts of the eco-system like café-bars, delis, a mini-cinema, gym and co-working space. This will be a new destination for people living in Farnworth to live, work and hang out. As usual for us we’ve gone for a bold design and we’re keen to hear what people think. We’re buzzing with ideas but we want to create this community together so come and join the conversation.”
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Martyn Cox added: “It’s really exciting to see the proposals for Farnworth town centre beginning to take shape so quickly. CAPITAL&CENTRIC have made a great start since the council agreed the deal with them last year to take forward the redevelopment of the former market precinct.
“This part of Farnworth has huge potential and we’ve now got a clear set of ideas for transforming the area. It’s got everything: high quality homes and employment, retail and leisure opportunities.
“Now it’s over to local residents to hear what they think — so I’d encourage everyone to respond to the consultation and be part of shaping Farnworth town centre’s future.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s important we focus as soon as possible on helping communities recover. Delivering projects like this will be a key part of that.”
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions the developer is not holding a public event, however, a live online Q&A discussing the plans is being held at 6pm on Monday 8th February 2021 and a newsletter has been sent to neighbouring households and businesses in the area with a tear off questionnaire. Residents and businesses can also complete the questionnaire online at www.farnworthreboot.co.uk
The consultation closes on Monday 15th February 2021. Feedback will be used to help shape the plans, with CAPITAL&CENTRIC expecting to submit a planning application to Bolton Council by the spring.
In December last year Farnworth was awarded over £13m from the Government’s Future High Street fund to help transform the high street. This will help deliver the town centre masterplan adopted by Bolton Council in 2019, which includes the plans to redevelop the market precinct. Farnworth is also one of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s Town Centre challenge areas.