As it moves to invest a £12m funding pot focussed on the borough’s town centres, Bolton Council has bought Farnworth precinct from St Modwen as part of its masterplan for the area.
Bolton has agreed initial terms with St Modwen for the purchase of the site, which includes 16 units on Brackley Street and the area between Brackley Street and King Street.
As the deal is not yet finalised, the terms have not been disclosed, but the council said it would be worth “several million pounds”. St Modwen bought the site in 2011 for £4m.
The council has already started preparing a masterplan for Farnworth, working with BDP to explore a redevelopment of the market precinct, including retail, leisure, and residential; a new community and civic hub; an extension of the leisure centre; and improved public realm.
A consultation was held earlier this year, which found wide support for the redevelopment of the precinct and improving the area’s retail offer, as well as the civic hub.
However, most residents were against relocating the town’s library, or redeveloping Farnworth’s Home Bargains store. As a result, the council will remove any reference to moving the library from the masterplan as it comes forward.
The move in Farnworth is part of Bolton’s drive to invest in its four main district centres, which as well as Farnworth include Horwich, Little Lever, and Westhoughton. The council set aside £12m to support this in January this year.
Speaking about the purchase of the precinct, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, deputy leader of Bolton Council said: “This ambitious move is fundamental to support the transformation of Farnworth.
“We are acutely aware that for a number of years the people of Farnworth have been frustrated that a scheme hasn’t been delivered.
“We will look to transform an area that is in real need of investment and it will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the town.”