THERE is an outcry at an outlying town as leaders say they have been neglected in council plans to transform town centres with millions in funding.

It was revealed that one Bolton town will not be able to get a share of a £16 million fund to regenerate its district centre. Westhoughton, Farnworth, Little Lever and Horwich residents have all been invited to create a plan to improve their town centres with the money, but Blackrod has been excluded.

Blackrod’s town mayor asked why Blackrod had not been considered for the million-pound fund when neighbouring Horwich had, saying he feels ‘pushed out’. Blackrod is represented alongside Horwich at Bolton Council.

At a Horwich and Blackrod area forum, the town mayor John Price said: “I feel a little bit pushed out. I do find it a little bit hurtful that people tend to ignore us. Blackrod has often been left out.”

Mr Price had support from Horwich leaders, with town councillor Craig Rotherham saying: “We do feel Blackrod has been cast aside and it is very unfair, it is part of Horwich and Blackrod ward. They have not got a town centre on the scale of Horwich’s but they do have a town centre in need of investment.

“There has not been any substantial investment in district centres in almost 40 years. But we have seen decade after decade of investment in Bolton town centre. This money will not go very far at all and it needs to be fairly distributed. The plan needs to go back to Bolton Council for reconsideration.”

A council officer at the meeting said similar feelings cropped up when Farnworth was asked to create a masterplan and Kearsley councillors were invited to join the planning process to ease tensions. Horwich North East ward councillor Richard Silvester told the Blackrod mayor that he would have to lobby the council to include the town in future funding.