New images have been released of how Bacup’s market square could look following a redevelopment of up to £9m.
Rossendale council has been awarded £150,000, and allocated an additional £250,000 match funding last September, towards putting together a bid to the Future High Streets Fund and High Streets Heritage Action Zone, for its Bacup 2040 vision.
A pivotal part of the masterplan is a market square proposal which includes a three-storey building with a 20-bed hotel, cycle hub, food and drink units and shops, and a two-storey building comprising a food and drink hall and 10-stall quality indoor market.
The market square also includes opening up key frontage and landscaping from Market Street to the Market Square area, a large multi-use town square that can be used for live events and outdoor markets, and a stepped area for outdoor theatre, music and arts.
An update, along with initial concept drawings has been provided in a report to next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting at Future’s Park.
The report, by the director of economic development Cath Burns states: “Bacup Market Square is an ambitious transformational project led by the council to bring about a renewed and exciting town centre experience aimed to drive increased footfall by significantly improving the town centre offer.
"The final proposal needs to be submitted to Government by 30 June 2020.”
The report states that the design, which is expected to be refined, is supported by extensive public consultation and input from the Bacup 2040 board.
The council has completed the freehold purchase of 12 Market Street and negotiations continue for the purchase of the whole building.
The report adds: “This ensures that this strategic site is within the council’s control should the Future High Streets bid be successful.
“In terms of capital costs, the proposal is currently estimated at £7-9m. More detailed design work and costings will be undertaken in the coming weeks.
"The Future High Streets Fund expect proposals to be funded 50:50 between the council and the Fund and based on a full business case.”
The proposals come just a week after council bosses confirmed a u-turn over the second phase of the Spinning Point regeneration in Rawtenstall, the original plans for which also included a hotel.
Council leader Alyson Barnes has made regeneration of the Valley’s main town centres her top priority during her nine-year tenure at the helm.
Last week she told LancsLive intervention was no longer worth the risk in Rawtenstall, due to the town having been “re-enlivened” in recent times.
She added: “It’s not quite the same as Bacup.
“They have got big empty buildings there and they need that extra help. All our town centres are important to us and we want to keep them operating at their full potential.”