PLANS to cement Ramsbottom as a ‘quality visitor destination’ for decades to come have been put forward.

Bury Council are seeking to promote the town’s ‘strong reputation’ as a food and drink led attraction with more promotion and improvements in public spaces around the central area.

A ‘Ramsbottom place management’ report to the council’s cabinet described the town as having ‘a good range of independent retailers, expanding events programme, and a growing reputation as one of the best places to live in the region’.

The report, written by Paul Lakin, director of economic regeneration, said: ” As one of the borough’s main visitor destinations the council has over the years supported the Ramsbottom Business Group to deliver priority projects and activity to support the growing visitor economy.

“This included a significant programme of events including festivals such as the chocolate festival  and Head for the Hills and specialist markets.

“While Ramsbottom has performed relatively well as a visitor destination the major changes now impacting the physical retail environment is likely to affect all town centres across the country.

“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.

“Ramsbottom is in a good position to continue its recent success.

“However, an updated approach to further improve the quality, appeal, and range of attractions in the town is required, to ensure that the offer remains attractive to visitors and Ramsbottom retains its important role.”

The report seeks approval to appoint a multi-disciplinary consultancy to prepare a public realm and place management plan for Ramsbottom.

The consultants would be tasked with producing up to date place management plan for Ramsbottom will consider plans such as the creation of common design guidelines for public realm improvements, enhanced pedestrian linkages, legibility, and information across the town centre.

It would look for opportunities to create additional space for leisure activity and improve access to the river and green space.

The hope would be to ‘identify a phased approach to implementation via a series of short medium and longer term interventions to bring forward a programme of improvements, subject to funding availability’.

A budget of £50,000 is set be allocated to cover the cost of the work.