Introduction to Area
Across the UK, town centres are facing challenges to their future vitality and viability. Many town centres are suffering from falling retail sales, reduced footfall, rising vacancies and high maintenance costs. Town centres need to become places that offer more diverse attractions providing a range of different activities and uses such as shops, housing, leisure, vibrant food and drink offers, social and community hubs and commercial and cultural enterprises, all of which should be designed to function as intergenerational spaces.
In response to the challenges facing Bolton’s town centres, the Council has adopted a three-pronged regeneration strategy to (i) masterplan, (ii) intervene directly and (iii) leverage private investment. The Council approved in 2019 a £16m budget to support the delivery of town centre strategies, in Farnworth, Westhoughton, Horwich and Little Lever, which aims to sustain the immediate future of the town centres to the benefit of the wider Borough and its residents. The funding will be used to target interventions in the four areas which will have the greatest impact.
Development of the Masterplan
BDP and their team of Consultants were appointed in October 2019 to develop a masterplan for Westhoughton that reflects the Bolton Vision 2030 of “creating a vibrant place, built on strong cohesive communities, successful business and healthy residents ensuring it is a welcoming place where people choose to study, work and put down roots”. The masterplans will be developed in partnership with key stakeholders and in consultation with the public.