Decision expected this week on new public park including ‘performance space’ for Bolton town center

Plans for a new city center park on the site of the former Odeon cinema are due to be presented to councilors this week. The park with lawns, performance area, paved area and seating and picnic tables will be built on the former site of the Bolton Odeon Cinema on Asburner Street and Blackhorse Street.

Bolton Council said the money for the new park would come from their successful bid for the Town Fund government grants.
The project is scheduled to be presented to the planning committee of council 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 harder paving, centered around flexible open event space where Stages could be brought in or temporary installations for events such as food trucks or show infrastructure.

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“Around the flexible space are seating areas to form a picnic and gathering area with benches overlooking the open space for event and performance functions.”



The park will include performance and event space

The park will use elements of the old cinema if the plans are approved. The report states: “The park takes inspiration from the site’s history as a former Odeon cinema, reusing elements of red brick and steel beams from the old building and keeping them in the design with walls of brick seats and sculptural steel posts.

“A granite-paved central area provides a sturdy surface under the picnic area, and exposed aggregate concrete is offered for the pathways with granite strips at entry points. The principle of planning is considered acceptable, even beneficial.

In 2021, Bolton Council successfully secured funding for the Public Realm and Connections Project, as part of its wider application for a Towns Fund grant for five regeneration projects in the central civic and cultural district. town. The park is expected to be the first project completed under this funding.

Earlier council leader Martyn Cox, who does not sit on the planning committee, said: ‘The city center needs a neighborhood like this and it is exactly what the city needs to make it even more attractive.

“There has been a lot of negativity about downtown, but we have a few things in the works which we hope will improve the situation and ensure that people there have a space where they can go and enjoy.”

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