Major proposals to ensure that Bury town centre will thrive for decades to come are set to be approved by council leaders.

A new masterplan for the next 15-20 years has been drawn up which includes a transformational revamp of the centre, setting out proposals for repurposing the Mill Gate estate with new leisure, residential and business opportunities.

Significant development opportunities across the town centre have been outlined that will help to sustain Bury as one of the top town centres within Greater Manchester. This includes proposals for a new flexi hall, an improved market and a new transport interchange. Sites have also been identified for new residential town centre living as well as wider innovation, education and employment opportunities.

The masterplan is due to be considered by the council’s cabinet on 15 December. If approved, it will go out for a six-week period of public consultation in the New Year.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, leader of the council, said: “Bury is the largest town centre in the borough and is the focal point for retail, leisure, administration, services, tourism and culture. The town centre has fared comparatively well in recent years, attracting significant investment and regeneration, and is one of the highest-ranking retail destinations in Greater Manchester.

“However, while Bury has performed well as a retail-led centre, there are significant ongoing changes happening, apart from the impact of Covid, on people’s shopping habits. Predictions suggest that there will be a 20-30% drop in retail sales within town centres as more people shop online – something which the pandemic has accelerated.

“This means Bury cannot afford to stand still, and we need to plan for how we will adapt to the rapidly changing economic landscape facing high streets across the country.”

Cllr O’Brien added: “The centres that survive will be those which are able to adapt to provide a diverse range of visitor and leisure attractions, modern workplaces and a reconfigured and varied retail experience that is supported by good public transport accessibility and a high-quality pedestrian experience.

“If our town centres adapt appropriately, they can continue to be key economic drivers for the borough and play a key role in the delivery of our economic aspirations as set out in the Bury 2030 Let’s Do It Strategy.”

Rhian Davitt-Jones, Associate Director within CBRE’s Planning and Development Team who has been leading the project, working collaboratively with Bury Council and supported by AECOM, said:

“The Draft Masterplan for Bury outlines an ambitious vision for the town centre over the next 20 years, which will help catalyse and attract new investment and development. We want people to be able to ‘Experience More’ from their town centre, building on the great assets such as the Market and heritage that Bury already has. We look forward to receiving community and stakeholder views on these ambitious plans and we’ll be engaging on the proposals early in the New Year.”


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