Developer submits £50m plans for new community in Farnworth

Capital&Centric Farnworth plans

Social impact developer Capital&Centric has submitted an outline planning application for its £50m plans to transform the former Farnworth market precinct into a vibrant new town centre community.

Capital&Centric, which featured in the BBC2 documentary Manctopia, is proposing around 220 new design-led homes and approximately 3,200 sq m of commercial space that will reboot the town centre with a new leisure, hospitality and culture destination.

A new linear park connecting the site and Farnworth Central Park is planned, providing a landscaped green hang out space for locals to enjoy.

The submission of the proposals follows a public consultation with the local community which saw an overwhelming 84% of people express support for Capital&Centric’s vision to redevelop the former market precinct.

The developer is looking to create a bustling new public square which could become a destination for artisan markets, live events, art galleries and pop-ups for foodies. A flexible indoor space for community uses will sit alongside spaces for local businesses to locate such as café bars and indie retailers.

Capital&Centric co-founder, Tim Heatley, said: “We were made up with the mega positive feedback we had from the local community. There’s a real buzz and excitement around what we’re looking to do.

“We had loads of ideas on the sort of things we should be including, from healthy delis, food and culture pop-ups, to a mini-cinema, gym and space for the local community to curate events and clubs.”

He added: “It’s ambitious projects like this that will transform town centres across the region. This is about rebooting the market town, with bold architecture, awesome homes, and spaces for events and creatives that will draw people in.

“It’ll be a new destination for people to live, work and hang out and will put Farnworth on the map.”

Located on King Street, the site is a short walk from the train station with easy access into Bolton and Manchester, and on the doorstep of the refurbished bus station, making it an ideal location for commuters.

In December last year Farnworth was awarded more than £13m from the Government’s Future High Street fund to help transform the high street.

This will help deliver the town centre masterplan adopted by Bolton Council in 2019 which includes plans to redevelop the market precinct. Farnworth is also one of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s Town Centre challenge areas.

Deputy leader of Bolton Council and cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “We were pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response from Farnworth residents, stakeholders and businesses on Capital&Centric’s plans to transform the former Farnworth market precinct into a thriving new mixed-use community.

“We believe this development meets the needs of the local community and visitors while transforming and stimulating long term economic growth for both Farnworth and the wider borough.

“Bolton Council’s intervention in master planning the district centre and purchasing the shopping centre will allow this transformation and redevelopment to go ahead and respond positively to the community’s previous frustrations that investment and development was not happening quick enough for Farnworth.”

A decision on the outline planning application is expected from Bolton Council in the summer. If approved, Capital&Centric will work with the local community on preparing a detailed planning application.

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