On Focus: PRESTWICH

Prestwich is the most southerly point of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury and over the last decade it has become one of the most sought after places to live in Greater Manchester.

Taking its name from the old English for a “priest’s retreat”, Prestwich was mostly rural and sparsely populated before it became a centre for silk weaving and the area is currently going from strength to strength.

Prestwich has been looking outdated with its 1960s precinct; however a £2 million makeover to its high street in 2018 and Bury Council’s recent announcement of further regeneration plans for Prestwich have sparked new optimism for the town.

The acquisition of the Longfield shopping centre has been pivotal for a mixed-use regeneration scheme that is being developed, hoping to provide workspaces for small businesses, a public service hub, a library, along with the creation of new civic and community spaces.

All this comes on top of many new Prestwich fast becoming a trendy place to visit; bustling with and award-winning bars and eateries. There are also brilliant local transport links around Prestwich which has led to a rise in commuters who can live in the leafy suburbs and work in the city giving them the best of both worlds.

One of Prestwich’s greatest strengths is its sense of community. There are a whole host of clubs and social events for people to get together and keep that unique spirit alive and kicking.

In July a Classic Commercial Road Run will be coming to Prestwich for the first time. A cavalcade of Classic of vehicles will be on show in and around the local area raising money for local charities.

Festivals such as Festwich take over a weekend in July each year, as the UK’s largest tribute festival, with two days of the best tribute bands playing live creating a huge event attracting revelers and families from all over the country.
The Prestwich Carnival in August is another big community event. It has been running for over 90 years and has much to keep the whole family entertained. As well as the traditional Carnival floats there will also be marching bands, cheerleaders and much more.

Plans are back in place for the ever popular Clough Day also now set to take place in August. This takes place at St.Mary’s Flower Park where families will be entertained by local bands, a Punch & Judy show, stalls, displays and much more.

The annual arts festival in September is a creative community event established and run completely by volunteers. The first event was held in 2018 to celebrate the talents and creativity of the diverse local community. Commissioned by Prestwich Arts Festival in a display of the community’s affection for music, a huge mural of late singer Mark E. Smith was painted on the side of Chips@No.8 paying tribute to the legendary Fall singer who spent most of his life the area. More recently a giant mural of comedy legend Victoria Wood appeared on the side of the Sword and Sparrow Tattoo Company on Bury Old Road not far from where she was born, in tribute to a great comedy writer and actress. Encouraging residents to shop local and drive the local economy, “It takes a village” is a new campaign set up by Rob Grant and a team of volunteers backed and funded through Bury Council and supported by the EDRF (European Regional Development Fund).

The focus is on local people coming together and supporting each other, there is a specially designed website and social media page where businesses and groups can list themselves for free. This then provides a central focus for finding out all that Prestwichhas to offer. Prestwich resident and local business owner Rob Grant told Your Local BURY “Prestwich has so much to offer, and this campaign gives the opportunity to profile the extensive range of talent in our village, extending beyond those on the high street, and to demonstrate what an impact our local community can have by working together to help our village thrive and reach its full potential. It’s very exciting to see the power of collaboration and support bringing out the best of people”

Prestwich is definitely a town to keep an eye on.

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