One of the biggest housing developments in the borough is “a matter of months” from bringing “life and vibrancy” to a long-overlooked shopping precinct.

The Farnworth Green scheme is set to be made up of dozens of new houses, with new shops, cafes, bars and a community hub to replace the town’s old precinct.

This week, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham visited the site off King Street where he said that it could prove to be one of the region’s most significant developments.

Mr Burnham said: “I remember coming here as a mayoral candidate and at the time I spoke to a pet shop owner in Farnworth.

“I saw that Farnworth has so much potential, it's got such a good location and it really needs investment.”

He added: “Obviously speaking as the former MP for Leigh I know that when you’re seen as the second biggest town in your borough you can feel a bit neglected.

“You can see that around Greater Manchester really, but people really are proud of their towns.”

The works are being led by developers Capital&Centric together with Bolton Council and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

The Bolton News: The development is one of the biggest Farnworth has seen in recent yearsThe development is one of the biggest Farnworth has seen in recent years (Image: Newsquest)

The finished scheme is set to include 85 one and two bedrooms with 12 family homes and more than 20,000 square feet of space for bars, cafes and independent shops.

It will also include a new public square, a community hub and spaces for outdoor community events.

This is all aimed at encouraging more people to live in Farnworth over the coming years.

The Bolton News: The major development is now well underwayThe major development is now well underway (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Burnham said he believed it was “a matter of months” until the development was ready for its next step and that Farnworth could set a trend for other towns across the region.

He said: “I think Farnworth is pioneering a new model.”

The Bolton News: Cllr Paul Sanders, of Farnworth South, on the siteCllr Paul Sanders, of Farnworth South, on the site (Image: Newsquest)

He added: “I think shopping habits have changed since the 50s and 60s so I think you’ve got to go towards more residential town centres that bring life and vibrancy.”

The finished Farnworth Green project will be the culmination of many years work.

Cllr Paul Sanders, of Farnworth South, said: “I’ve been involved in this project since around 2018 so when you think how far we’ve come, the council, investors, the political will to take it this far really has been a great thing.”

The Bolton News: Cllr Melanie Livesey, of Kearsley, on the siteCllr Melanie Livesey, of Kearsley, on the site (Image: Newsquest)

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He added: “Farnworth Green, to me, is there to be a catalyst.

“It really is the beginning of something and not the end and now we really want to see the economic benefits brought to the whole of the Farnworth and Kearsley area.”

The Bolton News: Andy Burnham with Cllr Akhtar ZamanAndy Burnham with Cllr Akhtar Zaman (Image: Newsquest)

Capital&Centric is working on various other projects around the borough and council deputy leader Cllr Akhtar Zaman says he hopes it will help bring more people to the area.

He said: “As you can see this is a major, transformative regeneration project for Farnworth.

“What this project will do is bring residential, leisure and all other aspects together to create a new neighbourhood within our borough.

“This is an example of what we can achieve for our town centres.”