CONSULTANTS have been hired to draw up plans to ensure that Ramsbottom continues to thrive as a much-loved destination.

Although the town has become a hub for visitors in recent years, changes to the retail sector, and the impact of Covid-19 on a town which enjoys a strong reputation for hospitality and tourism, has prompted council leaders to take action.

Consultants have been appointed to prepare a public realm and place management plan for Ramsbottom that will concentrate on improving the overall townscape, public realm and visitor environment and how to achieve a better balance between all town centre users.

The plan will also identify opportunities to create additional space for leisure activity, including improved access to the river.

Visitor facilities will be reviewed as well as parking provision, access, and traffic circulation.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “Town centres across the country face huge challenges - the rapid growth in online shopping, increasing rents and rates, and a shift in people’s spending away from products to experiences and lifestyle. Furthermore, the effects of Covid-19 will likely be far-reaching, especially on the hospitality sector which is significant in Ramsbottom.

“The centres that remain successful will be those that have a diverse range of visitor and leisure attractions, modern workplaces and a reconfigured and varied retail experience.

“We need to make sure that Ramsbottom can adapt and respond to these challenges by further improving the quality, appeal and range of attractions in the town to ensure that its economy thrives and remains attractive to visitors.

“These proposals will complement our regeneration plans for Bury, Radcliffe and Prestwich and make sure that all parts of the borough will recover from Covid and flourish.”

Manchester-based has recent project experience in Haslingden and Maryport and state on their website that "good quality external space is fundamental to our mental and physical wellbeing".

Matthew Warner, Director at, said: “Ramsbottom is a cracking town with bags of heritage and beautiful architecture so we’re hugely excited to be involved in creating a new chapter for the town centre.

“This is all about how we can help Ramsbottom build back better after Covid-19, think boldly about how the town centre should look and feel, and create a new sense of place that residents are proud of and visitors are drawn to time and again for those special days out with friends and family. We want to make sure that we put Ramsbottom on a sure footing to help the town thrive into the future.

“We’re buzzing with ideas for the future of the town centre, but Ramsbottom has a unique community spirit and is a melting pot of creatives and brilliant indie businesses so to get this right we need local people to get involved and help us shape the plans.

“What public spaces should the town centre offer? How can we kick on with greening the public realm and accelerate Ramsbottom to a low carbon, climate resilient town? What can we do to make Ramsbottom an easier place to get to and move through? We can’t wait to get started and see what the local community thinks.”

Cllr Kevin Thomas, deputy cabinet member for the Ramsbottom Town Plan, said: “Ramsbottom is a special place and we all want to keep it that way. This will be a real team effort, and we’ll need everyone to join in.

“In the weeks and months to come, we’ll be having extensive engagement with local businesses, the community and wider stakeholders because it’s important that we all work together to sustain the town centre’s vibrancy for generations to come.”