A FIRM has been appointed to create a new masterplan for Farnworth town centre.

The town was put forward by Bolton Council as one of the first areas to be subject to Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham’s Town Centre Challenge.

Now, the authority has chosen the same company behind the Bolton town centre regeneration plan — architectural firm Building Design Partnership (BDP) — to create Farnworth’s masterplan, to be revealed in early 2019.

It comes alongside a £1.9 million transport upgrade in the area, funded and delivered jointly by the council and Transport for Greater Manchester, which included updates at the bus station and long-term traffic disruption to complete works on Market Street.

BDP will now speak to councillors, stakeholders and residents in order replace the previous plan, initially set up by the council several years ago.

Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, and chair of the Farnworth Town Centre Steering Group, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, said: “Farnworth is an absolute priority for us and we are really pleased to select BDP for this work.

“They have a really strong track record in urban design and planning with a strong knowledge of commercial development.

“The aim of the new masterplan will be to unlock further development and identify potential for future investment.”

Bolton Council formally agreed to put Farnworth forward for the region’s regeneration plan in December of last year.

The scheme includes six other areas across Greater Manchester which have been nominated by borough authorities.

Mr Burnham previously visited the area, in March of this year to discuss plans for the regeneration.

He called the work set to take place in Farnworth “ambitious”, saying the Town Centre Challenge would bring “real and lasting change” to all areas covered by it.

However, despite the work being part of the Town Centre Challenge, Bolton Council will have to pay for the new plan themselves.

In addition to the masterplan, the council is operating a £450,000 scheme to repave pedestrian areas on Brackley Street, outside Asda.

Town hall bosses say this work is expected to be completed this autumn.

Manchester-based firm BDP is an international company which works on architectural, engineering and design projects. It beat a pair of other regeneration companies to win the Farnworth contract.

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