Bury has received national recognition by making the Top 3 in the Academy of Urbanism awards in the Great Town category.
These awards aim to identify, promote and learn from great places, recognising towns that have positively improved their economic, social and physical environment, particularly over the past 10-20 years.
The academy cited a wide range of factors as to why Bury made the shortlist: particularly the mix of tradition and modernism, from Bury Market to The Rock and Mill Gate, from the Museum and Sculpture Centre to the East Lancs Railway. They also cited Bury’s excellent reputation for education, transport links and its Green Flag parks.
Above all, they praised the partnership work that is done by the public and private sectors, local communities and developers, which they said other authorities could learn from.
Bury was shortlisted alongside the eventual winners Aberystwyth and Beverley in Yorkshire.
Councillor Mike Connolly, leader of Bury Council, said: “As a Bury man born and bred, you won’t be surprised to hear that I am delighted that Bury has yet again been recognised at national level for the many great things that happen here. Naturally, I think we should have won, but to make the Top 3 is still a fantastic achievement, especially for all the good partnership work that the judges rightly praised.”
Ian McMillan, the academy’s poet in residence and presenter of BBC3’s The Verb, wrote a special poem about Bury which was read out at Friday’s awards ceremony in London.
Queen of all the Lancashire towns is this;
A jewel on the Pennines’ western side,
A joy that you should really never miss
Jump on the tram now; come and take a ride
To Bury; bring your wallet and your cash
Then in the market feel your blood a‐thudding
Round your veins as down the aisles you dash
To stalls with piles and piles of such black pudding
As dreams are made on; buy a few
Then sit and eat them by the Art Museum
A place to feel the old mix with the new;
And taste the changes: hear ‘em, touch ‘em, see ‘em.
It’s a town with a past and a town in a hurry;
A town with a future. I give you Bury.
By Ian McMillan,
Poet In Residence,