A revamped public square, 200 homes, and flexible community space in the Bolton town are among the developer’s proposals now out for public consultation.
Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital & Centric, said: “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.”
In December, Capital & Centric struck a deal with Bolton Council to redevelop the former market precinct on King Street in Farnworth town centre, which the council purchased from regeneration specialist St Modwen in 2019.
The developer wants to transform the site, located next to the town’s bus station, into a “bustling destination for artisan markets, live events, art galleries and pop-ups for foodies”, it said.
A linear park linking to Farnworth Central Park also features in Capital & Centric’s vision for the site.
The developer is seeking feedback from residents on the mix of uses that could feature within the scheme, with options including café-bars, delis, a mini-cinema, a gym and co-working space all on the table.
The BDP-designed project forms part of the council’s wider regeneration masterplan for Farnworth that was signed off in 2019.
As well as the redevelopment of the market, the masterplan set out plans for a new community and civic hub, the extension and overhaul of Farnworth leisure centre, £5m of investment in public realm and connectivity, and a further £5m towards improving building facades and signage.
Bolton Council is waiting to hear the outcome of its £19m bid to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. If it is successful, the funding would help to deliver several other components of the Farnworth town centre masterplan.
Deputy leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “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.
“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.”
In 2015, previous owners St Modwen submitted a planning application to Bolton Council for a 23,000 sq ft retail and leisure project on the site. However, the project was never progressed.