Place on Tour: Bury
Where are the prime development sites in Bury? Bury Council teamed up with Place North West to showcase the area’s investment potential during a walking tour with developers, architects and planners.
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Guests were taken around the town centre, saw brownfield sites that will soon be coming on the market, and heard about plans to improve the Bury Interchange.
Bury Council executive director of place Paul Lakin and major projects manager Steven Manifold shared why the town was worth investing in. They referenced the £96.7m already planned for town centre investment, the 900 new homes proposed for the area, and the nearly 80 acres of land with development potential.
Walking tour attendees could also see first-hand how busy the town centre is. With several having arrived via Metrolink, they also experienced how easy it is to access Bury from Manchester city centre.
“Genuinely, it has been very insightful,” said Chris Hosty, head of design at Cert Property, after the tour. Hosty had not been familiar with Bury beforehand and had enjoyed hearing what the council has planned for the area.
“The council has clear leadership and a coherent vision for the town,” Hosty said.
Nicola Rudman, strategic business development manager at Fairhursts Design Group, said she had been surprised by the amount of green space in the town centre.
“Bury has a lot to offer,” she said.
Her colleague, architect Rebecca Meadowcroft, also praised the tour and town. “The tour was a really good way of showing people where the opportunities are,” she said.
Among the attendees were representatives from Bruntwood, Aew Architects, Muse, McDermott Homes, Martin Property Group, Placefirst, and Castle Green Homes.
Below is an at-a-glance summary of the tour:
An £80m transformation is coming to the Bury Interchange, which will see step-free access at the Metrolink, a “vertical circulation core” to better connect the Metrolink with the bus facility, and an integrated travel hub with spaces for cycle storage.
The work is much-needed, explained Transport for Greater Manchester’s Alan Lowe. He said that the interchange was built in the 1980s and very much is “of its time”.
“It’s not what we need for our customers,” Lowe said.
The new Bury Interchange project is expected to complete at the end of the decade.
Bury Market draws in around 200,000 visitors every week to purchase goods from its more than 370 vendors.
Bury Council is seeking to make it even better, refreshing its look and creating a £20m flexi-hall that can act as a multifunctional events space. With preliminary designs by Just H Architects, the flexi-hall would have space for co-working and offices, as well as a café.
Bury Council aims to open the flexi-hall by March 2025.
Town Centre South
Bury College has invested more than £9m into building a Health Innovation STEM Centre, which will support its T-level courses. The college is set to complete this autumn.
The close proximity to the market will improve animation and footfall in the downtown area, and Bury hopes there will be additional student accommodation coming into the town.
At 6.4 acres, this is one of the larger brownfield sites in Bury’s town centre. It has a potential for 400 homes. The council described it as an urban village development opportunity, with aims for there to be 25% affordable homes included in future residential plans for the site. Pyramid Park is one of the sites the council is marketing.
At a little over one acre, this brownfield site by the Premiere Inn has the potential for up to 166 apartments, according to the council. It will go on the market later this year.
This more than six-acre site once held the police station in Bury and currently is the home of the Castle Leisure Centre. The local authority said the site had the potential for 320 homes and would soon be coming onto the market.
Bury is seeking to improve the public realm in this area, which is situated near East Lancashire Railway and includes Castle Armoury – which is famous to “Coronation Street” fans as the show’s prison filming location. Bury also hopes to create high-density housing in this area, as well as a vibrant cultural events programme.
Mill Gate Shopping Centre
Bury Council has formed a joint venture with Bruntwood to improve the 15-acre Mill Gate shopping centre estate. Chief among the priorities is creating a link between The Rock shopping centre, Mill Gate and Bury Interchange, opening up that area for greater footfall. The joint venture is also aiming to improve the public realm around the shopping centre and provide a residential element. Down the line, the JV wants to create a new community and civic hub.
Bruntwood chief development officer, Chris Roberts, said the retail element of the shopping centre was already in a good place.
“It’s got a lot of really strong anchors to work with,” Roberts told those on the walking tour.
He also reaffirmed Bruntwood’s commitment to Bury. “We’re a long-term investor,” Roberts said. “We invest in place.”
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