Royal unveiling for Knowsley Place

Michael Hunt

The Duke of Kent has officially opened the new home of Bury Council and NHS Bury's £10m Townside Primary Care Centre.

The lunchtime event was held yesterday and started with a reception at the Town Hall attended by Bury's Mayor Cllr Sheila Magnall, Mayoress Elizabeth Pepper, and council leader Bob Bibby. The Duke of Kent then met those involved in the project including representatives from AskBury, NHS Bury, and the council's executive management board.

After lunch, the Duke of Kent enjoyed a tour of both the 40,000 sq ft Bury Council building, designed by architects Carey Jones, and the 50,000 sq ft Townside Primary Care Centre for NHS Bury, designed by Hurd Rolland, before unveiling a plaque to mark the opening ceremony.

As well as the medical facility and new office space, the £80m Knowsley Place development also features a new hotel.

Cllr Bob Bibby, leader of Bury Council, said: "The ceremony was an important milestone in what is an historic year for Bury, and on behalf of everyone involved I would like to thank the Duke of Kent for officially opening Knowsley Place."

Kathy Reade, interim chair for NHS Bury, said: "Townside Primary Care Centre is a fantastic £10m investment in the health of people in Bury. It brings together a range of services in the heart of the community."

David Burkinshaw, director at Ask Developments, said: "We were honoured to receive a visit from the Duke of Kent at the opening ceremony of Knowsley Place. This is an important development for both Bury and ourselves and it's fantastic to have royal support for the scheme which will make a real contribution to the town and provide key services and facilities to local people."

A joint venture between Ask Developments and Bury Council, Knowsley Place is one of three major developments currently taking place in Bury town centre along with The Rock and Chamberhall. On completion, Knowsley Place, which is located opposite the Town Hall, aims to enhance the facilities in the heart of Bury town centre as well as offer the public a wide range of services.

The Rock, a development costing £350m, offers 1.6m sq ft of retail, leisure and residential development including 400 apartments, with anchor tenants Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, and a 10-screen cinema.

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