AN AMBITIOUS regeneration programme is taking shape across Bury.

Unveiled last week, proposals to radically rejuvenate the face of Prestwich took a huge step forward as the scheme's main partners met to have a first look at concept designs.

However the Prestwich development only tells part of the story of a borough-wide transformative agenda.

Bury Council is engaging on large-scale bid to foster economic development recently approving a Growth Plan to bring vital housing, employment and investment to our town's.

The plan sets out the council's strategy for future development under a banner of "positive, inclusive and sustainable growth", while navigating the financial challenges posed by Government cuts and tightening purse strings.

Leader of Bury Council, Councillor Rishi Shori, said: “We want to see every part of our borough thrive, with new jobs, housing, training opportunities and a quality environment.

“The Prestwich regeneration scheme is just the latest piece of the jigsaw, as developments have been taking place across Bury and will continue to do so, under our plans for long-term sustainable growth."

Driving forward council plans to overhaul the borough is another recently approved initiative, the Brownfield Land Statement.

The statement aims to commit resources to bring forward development of brownfield sites, and will feed into a number of schemes to meet exponentially rising housing demands.

Several residential developments have been outlined, including around 90 units at Redrow in Prestwich, around another 190 units at Spen Moor, and new affordable homes on the site of the former Radcliffe Civic Suite.

There has also been undertaking to improve the facilities and provision of schools, with redevelopment of Elton and Castlebrook high schools.

A significant business agenda also lies at the heart of the regeneration strategy, embodied in £4 million of investment at the Warth Business Park, located between Bury and Radcliffe; and construction at Pilsworth Park 66 retail centre, which is estimated to open in March next year.

Announced last month, plans for another major 17 acre employment park have also taken steps forward, after town hall chiefs signed an agreement with “regeneration specialists” St Modwen to develop the Chamberhall site, off the A56 Peel Way.

Meanwhile significant external investment from Continental Fine Foods will see an estimated 400 jobs created at a new food factory in Bury.

In Bury town centre, development plans have been designed to bolster the borough's reputation as a centre for retail and entertainment, and cement Bury's status for providing a safe and enjoyable night out.

Cllr Shori said: “Bury town centre has won Purple Flag accreditation for the fourth consecutive year for the quality of its night-time economy, the only town centre in Greater Manchester to do so. This is complemented by continued investment at The Rock, such as new restaurants Racconto Lounge and West Ivy."

In the future the council has said it has plans to carry forward similar such regeneration with wider development of Bury town centre.

The development will seek to take advantage of work to demolish sites, including the former police station ­— which finally got back underway this year, three years after it initially commenced.

Cllr Shori said: “We are refreshing our masterplan for Bury town centre to bring forward brownfield sites for a range of residential, commercial and leisure development.

"These sites include the former police station, the former fire station, Bury Interchange, Townside (opposite the town hall), and the vacant bus depot on Rochdale Road.”

Outside of Bury, Regeneration Task Groups have been established in Radcliffe and Ramsbottom.

These task groups will have a strong business focus, working to create an updated Regeneration Strategy, bring forward improvements to compliment development opportunities and housing-led regeneration.

Cllr Shori said: “In Radcliffe we have recently seen the opening of a flagship Lidl store, which follows our earlier investment in Radcliffe Market Hall and the new bus station.

"Much needed affordable houses have been built on the site of the former civic suite, giving local people the chance to have their own home.

"Regeneration will continue in Radcliffe, and with Homes England we are working on a major residential scheme for 400 houses on the former East Lancs Paper Mill site, again bringing derelict brownfield land back into use."

Cllr Shori added: “Regeneration opportunities in Ramsbottom include working with the owners of the former Mondi paper mill site, and working on a feasible parking solution for the town centre."

Finally, in Prestwich, regeneration proposals for the Longfield Centre have got moving under the Greater Manchester Combined Authority's Town Centre Challenge initiative.

Benefitting from investment by Bury Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, the overhaul could boast a food hall, a 90 room hotel, 100 homes, and space for retailers, centred around the Longfield Suite.

The scheme follows the makeover of the A56 stretch through the town, earlier this year.

Speaking about the goals and designs Bury Council has set itself, Cllr Shori said: “We cannot achieve all this on our own, and effective partnership working is vital in bringing future developments to fruition.

“With our partners, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that Bury is open for business, and that our borough is truly a great place in which to live and work.”