Decision this week on new public park for Bolton town centre

Plans for a new town centre park on the site of the former Odeon cinema are to be put before councillors this week. The park with lawns, a performance area, paved space and seating and picnic tables will be built on the former Bolton Odeon cinema site on Asburner Street and Blackhorse Street. Bolton Council said the money for the new park will come from their successful bid for government grants from the Town Fund.
The scheme is set to go before the council’s planning committee on Thursday, June 23.

A planning officer report on the plans, said: “The northern half of the park is a softer landscape with the southern half of the park featuring more hard paving, centred around a flexible open events space where stages could be brought in or facilities for temporary events such as food trucks or performance infrastructure. READ MORE: Ugly concrete stilts could soon tower over Manchester, kill 14,000 jobs and wreck city’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance “Around the flexible space are areas of seating to form a picnic and gathering area with bench seating looking on to the open space for event and performance functions.”

The park will include and performance and event space

The park will use elements from the former cinema if the plans are approved.

The report said: “The park draws on the history of the site as a former Odeon Cinema, re-using elements of red brick and steel beams from the former building and retaining these in the design with brick seating walls and sculptural steel posts. “A central paved area of granite provides a robust surface under the picnic area, and exposed aggregate concrete is proposed to pathways with feature bands of granite at entry points. The principle of the development is considered to be acceptable, indeed beneficial.”

In 2021 Bolton Council were successful in securing funding for the public realm and connections project, part of their wider application for the Towns Fund grant for five regenerative projects within the town centre civic and cultural quarter. The park is set to be the first project delivered as part of that funding. Previously, council leader Martyn Cox, who does not sit on the planning committee said: “The town centre needs an area like this and it’s exactly what the town needs to make it even more attractive.

“There’s been a lot of negativity about the town centre but we’ve got a few things in the pipeline that we hope will improve the situation and make sure the people there have a space where they can go and enjoy themselves.” READ NEXT: The Mancunian Way: HS2 plans for Manchester are ‘outdated’

London’s GBP19bn Elizabeth line opens today – but where’s the Crossrail for the North? Government finally gives its reasons why Manchester can’t have underground HS2 station – unlike London Greater Manchester unites against ‘severely suboptimal’ HS2 Bill in Parliament

HS2 Manchester will ‘define the north for centuries’ if correct railway station built, says Andy Burnham