Rossendale Free Press

Neighbours may show way

- Council leader

PLANS to improve Ramsbottom town centre have been shared widely in recent weeks.

It includes improvemen­ts to the area around the Saturday market, Morrisons and Tesco (who knew a small town needed two supermarke­ts so close to each other!)

It’s a really exciting plan, and will create a pretty focal point at the heart of an already pretty town.

It should also provide food for thought for Rossendale Council too as it seeks to develop the Town Square.

The plans Rossendale Council has are as good as far as they go, but what’s the point of the Town Square in the long term?

What’s the benefit for the town of a big, and often windy, open space right in the heart of the

town centre?

Looking to Ramsbottom might be a smart idea.

HAPPY New Year. I know we’re well into the second week in January, but this has been my first opportunit­y to pass on my best wishes to you all.

At this time of year people usually take time to look back and reflect on the previous year but also look forward to the new one and what lies ahead.

2021 was another tough year for many with the continuati­on of the pandemic still affecting many lives and businesses. But I do feel we’re in a slightly better place than we were this time last year. Covid hasn’t gone away and its clear that’s not going to happen for some time, but I think we’ve all learnt to live with it a bit more. The successful vaccinatio­n programme has without doubt contribute­d to this and we continue to encourage all that are eligible to make sure you get your vaccinatio­ns and boosters when offered.

As ever the work carried out by the NHS and in particular our local Primary Care Network in co-ordinating and running the vaccinatio­n programme in Rossendale has been great despite often challengin­g circumstan­ces including supply and staffing issues

and I’d like to thank them for their hard work.

Whilst Covid continues to take up time and energy, the everyday work that councils carry out has still been going on. Our council officers are still doing all the work they normally do and that includes work to improve our town centres.

Work on Rawtenstal­l town square is well under way and going well. The scheme will see a muchimprov­ed area with a garden space and a dedicated events area created. The scheme will help to revitalise the town square, creating an outside meeting point, and will transform a neglected piece of landscape into a unique town square.

The Labour group took the decision to remove the old Valley Centre, refurbish the old town hall and create a new bus station and the town square is the latest addition to the developmen­t. I hope that the area will be enjoyed by all, and residents will get behind the scheme and support the new activities that are planned in the town centre.

Bacup was also successful in attracting over £1million of Historic England funding as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone project. The key outcomes of the project

are upgrades to numerous buildings, public realm works to Burnley Road Memorial Garden, community events and a cultural programme.

The Council is running a six-week consultati­on, available online to consult on the plans to improve Burnley Road Memorial Garden. We want to hear your views and if you’d like to have a look at the proposal and complete the survey you can visit Rossendale Council’s website at: BacupHAZ

The Bacup funding follows the successful £2.5 million funding Haslingden received in 2021 with backing from the National Heritage Lottery fund, to transform the town centre town to create a brighter shopper and visitor attraction.

All in all things are looking good for our beautiful town centres and we will continue to fight hard for funding to ensure our ambitious plans can be met. Other successes over the past year include the climate action day conference held in November and Stubbylee Park gaining a prestigiou­s Green Flag, the first in the borough but hopefully not the last.

The conference was used as a platform to raise

awareness and share informatio­n about grants and actions being taken locally to help reduce the overall carbon footprint for Rossendale.

The council take climate change very seriously and we’re trying to do as much as we can to reduce our energy consumptio­n and obtain as much as we can from renewable sources.

One of the most exciting initiative­s the council has planned which forms part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, is Rossendale Forest.

We have pledged to plant 16,000 trees over the next three years, equating to one tree for every child living within the borough, with 6,000 trees due to be planted before April 2022.

The first planting session is due to take place this weekend. It is something that everyone, no matter their age can get involved in and we hope will be a real legacy for generation­s to come.

If you want to find out more and sign up to help us in this mammoth task, check out the Rossendale Forest social media pages and sign up to ‘pledge to plant’ at rbcforest1 and we’ll hopefully see some of you at one of the planting sessions.

 ?? ?? ●●An artist’s impression of plans to regenerate Ramsbottom town centre
●●An artist’s impression of plans to regenerate Ramsbottom town centre
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