Published September 10, 2020 at 8:04
An ambitious plan to secure a vibrant sustainable future for Bacup town centre is being submitted for millions of pounds of government regeneration funding.
Already businesses, residents and visitors have witnessed a rebirth in the town thanks to works carried out with Townscape Heritage Initiative money which was secured by Rossendale Borough Council (RBC).
Now the council is submitting a detailed Bacup 2040 Vision proposal to the Future High Streets Fund to future-proof the town centre for years to come. The fund is worth £11.7 million.
Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said:
The success of the THI is evident for all to see especially when looking at the amazing array of unique and independent businesses that now fill St James Street.
Success encourages ambition and we have also seen many other new premises opening across the town demonstrating a renewed confidence in Bacup and its future.
The THI was always intended to be a starting point for Bacup, now our community led 2040 Vision will focus on building on the town’s strengths and creating a sustainable future for decades to come.
Despite the tough times we have faced because of coronavirus, we are proud of the bid we have put together. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the town centres but it won’t stop us being ambitious for the future.”
The masterplan sets out how the town could be developed over the next 20 years. One of the major changes proposed is the formation of a Market Square by the removal of the imposing three-story former Barclays Bank building.
The building’s footprint and the current market will then be remodelled with two new buildings added to accommodate an indoor market and food hall and a separate cyclists’ café, accommodation, repair shop and five retail units. Improving vacant, underused and derelict town centre buildings will also be a priority and initially the funding will be used to kickstart stalled developments.
Town centre public realm will be enhanced by creating a safe walking and cycling route across the town and other developments, linking car parking with the main shopping area.
Describing the plans as a unique chance to make Bacup East Lancashire’s leading heritage independent market town, Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry said:
I think this latest bid put forward by Bacup is a really exciting opportunity to bring together all the work that has been done over many years. I want to pay tribute to the local authority for securing heritage funding in 2014 as it was a catalyst for the regeneration of Bacup.
I think what we have to grasp is that this is not just a bid, it is an opportunity to take the town to the next stage of where we want Bacup to be in the next five, 10 and 15 years.”
He said he would be speaking to the Minister in support of Bacup’s bid. The aim is to provide a town that supports start-ups and growing businesses as well as providing tourism opportunities, quality food and drink and a place accessible and attractive for all with opportunities to live, work and spend leisure time.
For a virtual tour of how Bacup may look in the future visit: