Press release -
Joy as Radcliffe wins £20 million for crucial part of regeneration
Ambitious and wide-ranging proposals to transform the heart of Radcliffe have received a huge financial boost.
Bury has won £20 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build the new Radcliffe Hub and create new facilities for local businesses and public services.
These initiatives are a key part of wider regeneration of the town centre, which will include much-needed new affordable housing, an improved environment, a new high school, and improved leisure, skills and employment opportunities.
Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, leader of the council, said: “This is tremendous news for everyone in Radcliffe. We were up against tough competition to win this money, and it is a complete vindication of our belief and our vision for the future of the town.
“We now have a unique opportunity to bring about real transformation and create a new Radcliffe where everyone wants to live, work, study and play.”
Cllr O’Brien added: “This is the result of two and a half years of hard work, during which the council has been putting all the key elements in place. We drew up the draft Radcliffe Regeneration Strategy back in early 2020, consulted Radcliffe people over the summer 2020, and appointed Sir Howard Bernstein to lead the Delivery Board. Earlier this year, we bought key buildings in the town centre to drive the project forward, and worked with Star Academies to get the funding for the new secondary school.
“Crucially, everyone in the community will have a say and a stake in this. It’s not a council plan, it’s everyone’s plan – and we will be having wide consultation over the coming months. I urge everyone to take part and pay their full role in making Radcliffe the place we all want it to be and know it can be.”
The Levelling Up Hub project
At the heart of the town and its transformation. Estimated to cost a total of £42m, with £20m from the Levelling Up Fund and the remainder from Bury Council and external sources.
- The main Hub building will be the council’s first carbon zero building and will feature a leisure centre with swimming pool, gym and fitness studios, a new library and skills centre, and a community space for meetings and events. It will also incorporate office accommodation and public service providers supporting individuals and families with their health, skills, employment and wellbeing needs.
- Market Chambers - refurbishing all floors to ensure that this heritage building is preserved as a key feature of the town centre, to energy efficient standards and remodelled to support local businesses moving into it.
- The basement of the Market will also be refurbished as a large events space for community and private functions and activities, served by a new accessible lift and including WCs, a Changing Places facility and an accessible balcony over the River Irwell.
- New car parking facilities will also be created and improvements made to the wider public realm connecting this campus of buildings and the wider town centre.
- The historic Carnegie Library will remain open to the public and operate as an Adult Education, Skills and Enterprise Centre – supporting local people into work and nurturing local start-ups and small businesses.
- Subject to design work and planning permission, work could start on site next September and be complete in summer 2024.
Cllr O’Brien added: “This is about so much more than just new buildings. We are targeting regeneration in one of the poorest parts of our borough, but also a town with huge opportunity and potential to flourish. We want to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have opportunity to recover and thrive, with effective public services, in a more prosperous high street. By ‘levelling up’ and supporting those most in need, we give everyone a fair chance to thrive and succeed.
“By replacing poor quality buildings, and encouraging increasing numbers of people to visit, live and work in Radcliffe, we are aiming to put the pride and the heart back into the centre of Radcliffe and be the catalyst of economic regeneration in the town.”
The wider regeneration framework is being led by several groups, bringing together residents, businesses, community organisations and members of all local political parties.
The council has just approved plans for new and affordable homes to be built on brownfield sites in School Street and Green Street, to complement the new housing planned for the old East Lancashire Paper Mill Site.
Plans to build a new Radcliffe Secondary School in Spring Lane are also well under way. With council support, Star Academies are drawing up detailed proposals to open the school in 2024.
Get involved – see the plans
Consultation is now planned on the design proposals as they are developed for the leisure centre, library space, community spaces and public realm.
And a range of events will be held in the coming months with residents, businesses and community groups where we can display project design proposals and options around what the Hub will look like and the range of facilities it will offer.
The Radcliffe Regeneration Office is now open at 4 Dale Street, just opposite the Piazza, where visitors can drop in, see the plans and talk to council officers about the proposals. The office is open Monday to Friday (10am to 3pm) and on Saturday (10am to noon).
Following the council’s acquisition of the North and South blocks in the town centre, the Project Team is working with all commercial tenants to identify alternative premises where they might relocate, and agree support packages to ensure wherever possible local businesses are supported while the regeneration plans are brought forward.
Press release issued: 27 October 2021.