Residents in Rossendale have responded in their hundreds as part of a consultation process asking people on how the area could be improved.

Rossendale Borough Council’s public consultations over a series of regeneration projects are happening across the valley.

Public and stakeholder meetings, drop-in sessions, face-to-face consultations, and questionnaires have been used for people to learn about the detail of future and ongoing projects in Rawtenstall, Haslingden, Bacup and Waterfoot.

Council leader Alyson Barnes, is also a lead member for economic development.

She said: “The response we have had over the last 12 months has been fantastic.

“Whenever we arrange public consultations it is never a box-ticking exercise. We listen and learn and act upon the opinions of residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

“For instance, in Bacup we have completed the first phase of engagement concerning the redevelopment of the market with market traders, town centre shop owners and the town’s business leaders in the form of meetings and a questionnaire which attracted more than 450 replies.

“Having considered the various opinions we have made several changes and tweaks to the original plans for the new Temple Court Market and cycle hub and these will be incorporated in a revised design which will be made public in a few weeks’ time.”

In Haslingden, the collaboration between the local community and the council has seen alterations being made to not only the plans for the redevelopment of the town’s market but also for the public realm work being carried out in Higher Deardengate and for the Big Lamp Project.

A consultation meeting was held with local businesses at the library, in addition to drop-in sessions for members of the public. The council’s town centre manager Dawn Lawler visited shop traders raising awareness of the regeneration plans.

A questionnaire concerning the future design of the market, with its open community and events area, resulted in more than 430 replies. 

In Waterfoot, 550 people responded to a consultation document which helped the council understand fully the town’s strengths, opportunities and challenges.

The questionnaire included an online survey, face-to-face interviews, drop-in sessions and the involvement of students from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School to take on board opinions from young people’s perspective.

Cllr Barnes added: “We have been delighted with the responses we have received. The council wants to regenerate the borough so that more people want to live here, work here and visit here. And it’s taking on board the public’s opinions that will make our plans a success.”

The consultations have been organised by the council’s economic development and regeneration team. 

All of the projects are being funded by Rossendale Borough Council with grant support from Heritage Lottery Fund, now a £2.5m investment, Shared Prosperity Fund £2.64m and Capital Regeneration funding supported by Levelling Up, £17.95m, and Lancashire County Council.