Westhoughton has a population of around 25,000 residents, the town centre is a well-connected and bustling, with unique local character. It offers a wide range of assets, from a town hall, a library, Carnegie Hall, an indoor market, independent businesses. There are also shops and cafés, a recently refurbished leisure centre, a town park, schools, therapy centre, national convenience retail and food & drink brands, office space as well as banks and building societies.
The masterplan aims to address a number of the town centres challenges including developing vacant sites, pedestrian links and connectivity between shops and areas near the town including the park, assessing additional parking and maximising underutilised buildings in the centre.
Following local consultation, a dedicated district centre strategy and masterplan was developed which identified challenges and opportunities for each area with several key development proposals to guide the long term regeneration of Westhougton.
A two phased approach will be taken to implement the priority projects. Phase one will be focused on implementing ‘quick win’ projects, completing further physical surveys and design work, and undertaking further public consultation. Phase two will concentrate on the implementation of the longer term projects.
Westhoughtons priority projects include:
A £16m budget was approved in 2019 to support the delivery of town centre strategies in Westhoughton, Horwich, Little Lever and Fanrworth with the aim of sustaining the immediate future of the town centres to the benefit of the wider Borough and its residents.
The level of funding given to any town centre will depend on the overall content strategy and masterplan and the level of support needed to initiate developments.
“We’re hopeful that the additional money for Westhoughton will allow us to make physical improvements and to make the town centre and Central Park a more attractive place for residents to visit. It will be an opportunity to encourage businesses to also invest in our thriving town centre. There will be future opportunities for residents to be involved in the consultations for the physical layout of Market Street, the use of the civic buildings such as the town hall, the library and the Carnegie Hall and Central Park. Residents’ views will help to frame all of these long-term strategies so I would encourage people to take part.”
As part of the masterplan and strategies an action plan of priorities, output measures and indicators are being monitored and reviewed annually by the Director of Place Development and Assistant Director of Economic Development and Regeneration alongside members of the Westhoughton Town Centre Steering Group.