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RELICS: Heritage items from former Horwich Loco works will be installed in parks

RELICS: Heritage items from former Horwich Loco works will be installed in parks

Heritage items from former Horwich Loco works will be installed parks at huge new housing development, Image: LDRS

Industrial relics from the railway engine building past of Horwich are set to be at the heart of a massive housing development in the town.

People are being urged to share their views on heritage proposals that have been submitted to Bolton Council for the ‘heritage and community core’ at Rivington Chase as part of the next stage in the £262m redevelopment of the former Horwich Loco Works, which will see more than 1,700 new homes built.

The three proposed landscaping elements include a small park next to the Rivington House roundabout and north-west of the Lane End development, a memorial park next to the spine road and the proposed community core and a landscape buffer next to the spine road and the Bellway Homes Phase 2 development.

The pocket and memorial parks have been designed to retain existing heritage features from the former Erecting Shed at the works.

Both parks include a hard-paved area with seating and a heritage interpretation point, with the memorial park earmarked as a location to remember the former workforce of the Loco Works.

The designs display the original cast-iron columns from the Erecting Shop which will be restored to their former glory..

The 6 metre high columns, which have been likened to Belfast’s Samson and Goliath cranes, will go on public display as a permanent reminder of Horwich’s industrial past and contribution to the railway industry.

Other proposed measures to honour the heritage of the site include linear beds planted between existing columns from the Erecting Shop to mimic the railway lines that ran through it, blocks of ornamental grasses with timber edging and gravel to emphasise the site’s post-industrial appearance; and where possible, the retention of artefacts such as tipper wagons and remaining railway lines.

The landscape buffer is designed so as to form part of the approach to the future residential developments south-east on the site.

Mark Caldwell, chief executive of Bluemantle, said: “We’re really keen to hear views from the community on these plans which have been carefully designed to maximise the heritage and abundant open space at Rivington Chase such that everyone can enjoy it.

“With support from local community groups, we’re exploring options to incorporate relevant historical artefacts from the Loco Works within these public landscape areas.

“Belfast has Samson & Goliath as a nod to its shipbuilding past, and we wanted to create a permanent public display to showcase Horwich’s strong rail heritage.

“I’m delighted we have managed to put forward designs that showcase these dramatic columns for generations to come.”

The Rivington Chase regeneration scheme was granted outline permission in 2015 for 1,700 homes and associated retail and leisure space on the former industrial site.

In 2019, planning permission was granted for a link road which will connect the site up to Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich Parkway Railway Station and Junction 6 of the M61.

In June 2021, Bellway Homes lodged plans with Bolton Council to build 207 family homes as part of the next phase of the Rivington Chase scheme, the application will be heard at Bolton planning committee on Wednesday, October 27.

Those wishing to share their views can get in touch by visiting the Enquiries page of the Rivington Chase website:


Words: Chris Gee, Local Democracy Reporter

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