THE latest round of spending on renegeneration projects aimed to boost Radcliffe has been given the green light as Bury Council announces plans to set up an investment fund to leverage money from other sources.

A total of £170,000 of spending was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, most of which will be spent on a shop front improvement scheme.

This £100,000 project will provide businesses with grants for new signage, painting and rendering shop fronts.

Up to 80 per cent of the cost, a maximum of £8,000 per property, will be covered by the local authority following an application process which six businesses have already passed.

A total of £50,000 has also been earmarked for a residents-only parking scheme for the area around Bridgefield Street in close proximity to the Metrolink station which is expected to come into effect by early May.

Council leader David Jones also told his colleagues how the local authority could try to leverage third party funding for further regeneration of Radcliffe.

He said: “In the longer term, we are looking for the council to create a Council Investment Fund for the town. I think it shows our determination to do something substantial for Radcliffe in the longer term.

“It’s not just a school, not just a town centre, though those things are important. It’s about the whole regeneration of Radcliffe.”

Bury Council agreed to allocate an additional £500,000 for the Radcliffe Regeneration Task Group to spend from its capital budget next year.

This comes after an initial investment of £500,000 for regeneration projects in 2019, taking the total given to the task group, which consists of councillors, council officers, businesses, community groups and faith leaders, to £1m.

So far, this money has been spent on new benches, planters and resurfacing pavements as well as installing and upgrading CCTV cameras.

But the council was accused of “spending money for spending money’s sake” when a scrutiny committee described the half-a-million-pound pot for these projects as an “open cheque book” at a meeting in January.

This includes spending around £70,000 on nine new benches along Church Street West and nearly £50,000 on a further seven benches, restoring a bandstand and clearing planter beds in the Radcliffe Piazza.

Council chiefs were asked to bring a detailed cost breakdown back to the overview and scrutiny committee and clear up confusion over who signs off the spending.

Deloitte LLP was formally appointed to prepare a Strategic Regeneration Framework and delivery plan for the town earlier this year.

Paul Lakin, director of regeneration and economic growth at Bury Council, was asked by Conservative leader, Cllr Nick Jones, when members of the public will be consulted on proposals relating to Radcliffe.

He said: “The plan at the moment is not to do a mass wider consultation. We don’t think it is appropriate to do that until there’s something more substantive.”