SEVERAL ‘public realms’ could be created in the town centre if plans are approved at a meeting of the council today.

The council has received just short of £24m in funding from the government as part of the ‘towns fund’ to help regenerate the town centre.

This includes securing £22.9m with its Town Investment Plan (TIP) and an additional £1m of ‘Accelerated Funding’.

A report by council place director Gerry Brough, says: “The bid focused on the Cheadle Square area of the town centre and includes public realm projects along with improvements to the Library and Museum, Wellsprings and Bolton Market.”

The Bolton News: Plans for 'Cheadle Square' from the towns fund in Bolton town centre

The allocations for the four projects is £6.25m for the ‘public realm’, £3.73m for the library and museum, £7.237m for The Wellsprings and £5.59m for Bolton Market.

A new scheme has been outlined for the creation of a pocket park on the former Odeon site off Ashburner Street.

The proposal would see it become a “fluid, informal meeting, performance and outdoor events space”.

Mr Brough added: “It provides an opportunity to link in with Towns Fund proposals for Bolton Market and wider town centre events, creates a new town centre public space while at the same time massively improving an eyesore site.

“It will be an attractive and usable space.”

The council anticipates a planning application for the Odeon site in the coming months.

It is hoped this new space would be used as a ‘day-to-day space’ for town centre workers, students and visitors, a park for residents in upcoming housing developments, such as the one around Moor Lane, and as a venue for the food and drink festival, Ironman, and “one-off events such as outdoor film shows”.

The Bolton News: Plans for a new 'public realm' park at the site of the former Odeon off Black Horse/Ashburner Street in Bolton town centre

This project comes from the ‘Accelerated Funding’ but it is hoped to link up public realm schemes to the west of Black Horse Street to town centre shopping areas and the east of the town centre.

Designs for these projects are yet to be finalised and funding released but improvements to Ashburner Street and Howell Croft Street South are expected to start next month and should be completed in March next year.

The Odeon park project will start straight after this, with the site expected to be complete by the end of next July.

These projects have been designed as a “robust and proactive response” to the “increasing challenges facing town centres across the country”.

“Continued investment in public realm continues to be acknowledged as an important factor in the vitality and viability of town centres,”Mr Brough said.

New council leader Cllr Martyn Cox is today expected to approve funding and design plans for the public realm works.