Ramsbottom Town Centre Plan - Your questions answered
What is the Ramsbottom Town Centre Plan and why is it needed?
Ramsbottom has become a successful town centre and attractive visitor destination. However, success cannot be taken for granted. To help Ramsbottom respond to the challenges that town centres face, the town centre plan identifies opportunities to create a more attractive and usable town centre for residents, businesses, and visitors.
The plan is an informal, non-statutory document that will help to shape and direct future investment into the town centre. It will also be a material consideration to which regard may be had in development control decisions relevant to the future regeneration of the town centre.
How has the Ramsbottom Town Centre Plan been developed?
In March 2021, the Council commissioned Layer Studio Ltd to produce a town centre plan for Ramsbottom which would identify a series of potential proposals to improve the town for residents, businesses and visitors.
The development of the draft plan included some early engagement with a range of stakeholders to help guide the vision and identify potential proposals. Consultation on the draft took place from 4 January 2022 to 15 February 2022, with a further extension to 21 February 2022 to allow for further feedback from several commercial businesses.
Following detailed analysis and full consideration of all the responses received through the consultation process a revised Ramsbottom Town Centre Plan was approved by the Council on 9 March 2022.
How will these projects support the Town Centre?
By delivering key interventions around public realm improvements, better connectivity in and around the core of the town and enhanced public space the Ramsbottom plan will not only not only to attract increased footfall but will act catalyst to lever in increased private investment into the town centre.
How will the Ramsbottom Plan be delivered?
The Plan provides a clear vision and framework for the future of the town which will help to guide the development of Ramsbottom over the short, medium and long term. Proposals will be brought forward as funding is identified and secured. Detailed designs will be required for each proposal, and these will be subject to further and more detailed consultation with stakeholders.
How will the Ramsbottom Plan be Funded?
The plan will require funding from a range of sources including the Council, government grant programmes, external agencies and potentially, the private sector.
Early funding opportunities have been identified which, subject to further community consultation, will help to support the delivery of the following:
Active Travel - Greater Manchester has secured £1.07 billion of funding from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement for transport and active travel proposals and work is currently ongoing to identify where this funding will be targeted. The Council will seek to ensure that some of this funding is spent within Ramsbottom helping to deliver the active travel and connectivity elements as recommended within the plan. It is estimated that around £2m to £3m could be secured via this fund to deliver short term initiatives that will help to facilitate new and/or improved cycling and walking facilities.
Enterprise Centre - The Council has successfully secured £50,000 Evergreen funding which could be used to help bring forward the proposed Enterprise Centre in the town.
Parking Strategy - An early piece of work that the Council is looking to develop is a parking strategy, as this is a priority for the town centre as clearly demonstrated by many of the consultation responses. There are resources in place for this to be carried out. Further consultation will be carried out with stakeholders.
The Council will continue to explore funding opportunities to help take forward the key proposals within the plan, as well as continue to explore further proposals that will help to benefit residents, businesses and visitors to Ramsbottom.
Questions from the Ramsbottom Town Centre Plan consultation
A new Enterprise Centre is proposed for the town centre, where will that be located?
To help support existing and new businesses by offering enhanced facilities and new office/flexi space the Council is looking to create an Enterprise Centre through improvements to the existing Market Chambers building and through the redevelopment of the currently unused upper floor of the Civic Hall.
The Council is also considering if any under-used areas within Ramsbottom Library could be used to provide flexi- space for businesses and homeworkers to enhance the current library service.
The plan proposes a new public square/events space in the core town centre. How will this affect car parking?
The Plan proposes a parking strategy for the town centre which aims to create a better balance for all users. The proposal for a new public square and events space will be considered in the development of the detailed parking strategy which would also include further consultation.
The Ramsbottom Plan includes images and plans for each potential project. Are these the final designs?
No. The plan contains high level proposals and concepts. Any designs are to provide an idea of how those spaces could look. As such, all the proposals will require further detailed work and surveys where necessary, which would be subject to further engagement and consultation with stakeholders before being progressed.
Will the proposals prevent deliveries to businesses within the town centre?
No. The Ramsbottom Town Centre plan is focused on improving the town centre for a range of users and this includes supporting existing and new businesses. All the proposals will require further detailed work and surveys where necessary, which would be subject to further engagement and consultation with stakeholders before being progressed.
Are there plans to pedestrianise Bridge Street and Bolton Street?
No. The plan does not include any proposals to pedestrianise Bridge Street.
Does the Ramsbottom plan look to ban HGVs from Ramsbottom Town Centre?
No. The highway infrastructure within Ramsbottom Town Centre means that HGV movement is often constrained, and this sometimes conflicts with pedestrian movement. However, it is acknowledged that existing businesses need to be serviced and there are no proposals to ban HGVs.
Does the Ramsbottom plan look to impose restrictions on HGVs movement within Ramsbottom Town Centre?
No. As above, the plan does not propose any restrictions on HGV movement within the town. There are proposals in the plan that identify more pedestrian friendly interventions. However, these would need to be developed in detail to ensure that HGV movement and servicing of existing businesses was facilitated.
Is there a strategy to relocate Businesses from Ramsbottom?
No. Existing businesses are important to Ramsbottom's local economy and there is no strategy to push businesses that are reliant on HGV movement out of the town. However, the highway infrastructure in Ramsbottom is constrained and, as a result, the Plan identifies the need to balance the needs of businesses and the needs of other users in the town.