Bury to acquire assets for Radcliffe civic hub

Investment firm London & Associated Properties is selling a pair of ageing retail assets to Bury Council, enabling the authority to progress its plans for a town centre mixed-use scheme. 

This week, the council is expected to approve the acquisition of two 1960s shopping blocks in Radcliffe town centre, having agreed heads of terms with the vendor. The value of the deal was not disclosed. 

Fronting the piazza and adjoining Blackburn Street and Dale Street, the blocks would be redeveloped into a mixed-use civic hub featuring space for up to 200 council staff, as well as leisure facilities, retail, food and beverage outlets, community events space, and private office space. 

The development “has the potential to be truly transformational for the town and will act as a catalyst for further development and investment in the town centre and wider borough”, according to Bury Council. 

Demolition of the existing buildings on the site is expected to begin later this year, according to a strategic regeneration framework for the town, drawn up by Planit-IE and Deloitte.

When the civic hub completes – targeted in 2024 – council staff would relocate from existing offices on Whitaker Street, freeing up that site for redevelopment into a residential or employment scheme, the council added. 

Bury hopes to secure funding for the civic hub project from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, details of which were unveiled in the Budget announcement earlier this month. 

Consultancies Deloitte and CBRE are advising Bury Council on the acquisition of the assets, which are currently occupied by several independent businesses, including takeaway shops. 

The civic hub is one element of a wider town centre regeneration project being led by former Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein. The project features proposals to improve the existing Radcliffe Piazza and expand the Market Hall.   

Additionally, the town’s Market Chambers building would be repurposed to provide flexible working space, under this scheme.   

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This is needed, I just hope the new design is not contemporary (bland) and reflects that this is a Victorian mill town.

By Observer

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