Burrs Country Park strategy
Burrs is the site of two mill communities which grew on opposite banks of the Irwell from 1790 onwards. By the late 1980s when Bury Council inherited the land from the former Greater Manchester Council, most of the buildings had been demolished and the site was derelict.
Since the late 1980s Bury Council has worked with a number of organisations to develop the site as a country park:
- With the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit it researched the site and investigated the industrial remains;
- With Bury Canoe and Kayak Club it developed a river slalom and converted former mill workers' cottages into an activity centre and bunkhouse;
- With the Caravan Club to develop a caravan site.
None of this would have been possible without significant funding from the Regional Development Agency, the Sports Council and European Community.
Establishing a 'destination park' - Burrs Country Park Strategy
Burrs Country Park is a significant attraction in Greater Manchester with a range of facilities to offer the visitor. We know how important Burrs is to the Borough's growing cultural and tourism sector and we are aware the site needs to be refreshed and modernised to build on its popularity and broaden its appeal to a wider range of visitors.
The Burrs Country Park Strategy was published in June 2015 following a four-week public consultation in March-April 2015. The document sets out our vision over 15 years to establish a 'destination park' which is a regional attraction and a centrepiece of the Borough's tourism offer. The strategy is available to download below.
The provision of a countryside rail station at Burrs has been a long term aspiration of the East Lancashire Railway Development Plan and formed a key part of phase 1 of the Burrs Country Park Strategy.
Planning permission for the scheme was secured in April 2016 for a platform, waiting shelter, access ramp, fencing, emergency access and a path to the park. The original footpath across the railway line has been diverted under the bridge at How Lane and to the east of the railway line.
Following its completion in autumn 2016, there was an opening ceremony for the new Burrs Country Park station on 13 October 2016. The stop was officially added to the East Lancashire Railway timetable from January 2017.
The Caravan Club
Bury has the only Caravan Club operated site in Greater Manchester, attracting visitors from all over the UK and Europe. The 85 pitch site opened at Burrs Country Park in 2006 and was the result of efforts to develop Bury's tourist 'offer' and diversify the local economy. Burrs is a great base from which to visit Bury Market, the East Lancashire Railway, the West Pennines and Manchester City Centre.
Alongside the Burrs Station scheme under phase 1 of the strategy, there is a proposal for the Caravan Club to increase the size of the touring site to 109 pitches, following the receipt of planning approval in 2015.
On 14 July 2017, the Caravan Club opened the expanded site adding 27 service pitches which offer all-weather surfaces and include facilities such as individual drink water supplies, electrical hook-up and ground level inlet to accept grey water.