Council eyes Prestwich for next acquisition

Bury Council has started talks to buy Longfield Shopping Centre from Hollins Murray Group to progress the delivery of a mixed-use scheme in the town centre in partnership with Muse Developments.

HMG is courting reduced offers for the retail complex, presenting Bury with the opportunity to take control of the centre and its long-awaited redevelopment into “a distinct, usable civic external space, which symbolises the centre of the neighbourhood”.

A report to Bury Council’s cabinet states that it has received notification that HMG would be “willing to consider a reduced price” for the sale of Longfield until the summer, requiring the council to act fast if it wishes to buy the seven-acre site.

“Until now, the purchase price for the shopping centre has been too high to develop a viable scheme”, the council said in the report. 

As well as seeking approval for the acquisition of the retail centre, the council is also requesting permission from its cabinet to enter into a joint venture with Muse to bring forward the mixed-use project. 

Regeneration developer Muse has been involved with the proposed overhaul of Longfield Shopping Centre since 2016 when HMG appointed the firm to draw up proposals for its redevelopment into a residential-led scheme featuring a 60,000 sq ft supermarket but the project has not progressed so far.

The scope of the scheme has changed in the intervening years and the latest vision for the project features homes, a library and community hub, small business workspace, outdoor space and public realm and a market hall, according to the council. 

“The purchase of Longfield Shopping Centre will be a catalyst post Covid-19 for delivering Bury Council’s regeneration ambitions,” the report said. 

Meanwhile, Bury Council is expected this week to sign off its planned purchase of two 1960s retail blocks in Radcliffe town centre from London & Associated Properties, enabling it to progress a town centre mixed-use scheme there.

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I suspect councils and developers are eyeing up these old shopping centres as they can pick them up at knockdown prices with little opposition. Big changes ahead for Bury and similar sized towns in the coming years.

By Jon P

Much needed, The Longfield is a dump considering this is an area of £350/ft2 sales!

I hope they will keep some of the historic pubs and banks on the frontage so as not to repeat the ’60s mess that is there currently!

By Observer

This scheme seems never ending. It would be nice for once if it could proceed without the usual seesawing we’ve come use to from Bury MBC when anything Prestwich comes up! We are still in a pandemic so I don’t expect anything to come to fruition as usual and for it to be just another political gesture from the incumbents.

By Chris Sudlow

Really needs a make over. Its down-at-heel and scruffy. Prestwich is one of most expensive suburbs local to Manchester. The Longfield is an embarrassing eyesore.

By Prestwich born resident

Currently under “consultation” ie gesture as looking like a preconceived plan. No mention of replacing the fabulous dancehall/ entertanment complex, a social lifeline for so many people, and so desperately needed post-covid. A disgraceful and dishonest squandering of civic assets in the name of progress. The site requires investment and promotion, not a bulldozer. Shameful act of social vandalism.

By Chris Houghton

I am a resident of Prestwich and a daily user of Preswich village it is my home, and as such i will be paying very special attention to any redevelopement of the area, i hope whoever gets the yay or nay to any future plans will consider all resident,s of Prestwich, as we will be considering the plans too.

By Sheila

Why is it always Radcliffe , Prestwich, when will there ever be investment in Whitefield

By Liz P

Keep old pubs..keep Longfield suite if possible..get rid of alcatraz concrete no fountain piece in middle of precinct…generally viewed as a monstrosity….apparently artist has lifelong ownership… did that pass the legal team at Bury…………

By Valerie Jeffery

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