Grants available for local Groups and Projects

As your elected representatives, we have grants available up to the sum of £1,500 for local projects, groups or initiatives that can, or are making a difference to the health and wellbeing of those living within Ramsbottom, Holcombe or Shuttleworth.

If you run, or are part of, a local organisation, project or group and are in need of funds, then please contact us, explaining how your organisation and the people that use your organisation or group will benefit from an injection of funds.

As Councillors, we may use these discretionary funds in any of the following ways:

  1. to spend on a community purpose
  2. to allocate for capital works that are for a community purpose
  3. to allocate to a community organisation.

The three Councillors will work together on a single scheme of funding, or split the funds between different groups.  We want to make sure there is a fair and open process that everyone can see is beneficial to our community.

Please contact us using the link below and we will then obtain further details from you to consider your application for funding.

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2018.

Community Engagement in Ramsbottom

Your Councillors recently attended two community engagement events.

The first event, was the ‘Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor Neighbourhood Engagement’ event at Ramsbottom Cricket Club.

This was an opportunity for residents, local community groups, local Councillors, businesses and anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the area to get together and help shape our town and villages.

Exhibitors included Bury Council, GM Police, NHS, Friends of Nuttall Park, Friends of Ramsbottom Civic Hall, Incredible Edible Ramsbottom and a host of other local groups.


We hope to repeat the event soon.

The second event was a pitch by local community groups for funds from the Council for their local projects.  Bury Council were offering these community groups a chance to secure up to £1,000 each for local projects that actively contribute to the health and wellbeing of residents within our area.

Approximately 200 residents and groups attended the event at Holcombe Brook Tennis Club and many local groups were successful in obtaining funds.

There will be another round of funding available in Spring 2018.

Should you be involved in a local community group or project in or around Ramsbottom, then please do contact us at for details.

Ramsbottom Neighbourhood Engagement Event

Residents are invited to attend the first ‘Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor Neighbourhood Engagement’ event.

This is an opportunity for residents, community groups, businesses and anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the area to get together and help shape new ways for us to work together to improve our Neighbourhoods.

The event takes place on:

Monday 20th November, 5pm – 7pm

Ramsbottom Cricket Club, Acre Bottom, Ramsbottom BL0 0BS

The event will be an informal ‘drop in’ session providing an opportunity for you to find out more about what is going on in our area and connect with other members of our community.

Exhibitors will include:

  • The Bury Directory
  • Helping Yourself to Wellbeing
  • Street Soccer/Hitz
  • Engagement HQ – online community tool
  • Carers
  • Branding
  • Adult Learning courses
  • Bury Volunteer Rangers
  • Safe Place Scheme
  • Community Help and Information Service
  • GM Police
  • NHS Community Services Bury
  • DCaff
  • Greenmount Village Association
  • Friends of Tottington Library
  • Friends of Nuttall Park
  • Friends of Ramsbottom Civic Hall
  • Incredible Edible Ramsbottom
  • Physical Activity and Sport Development
  • Making Space
  • Speakeasy
  • Home Instead Senior Care Bury
  • Recycling and Waste Management

…and more

There will be an opportunity to talk with service providers and community groups and speak with your local Councillors and Council Officers about how we engage with you and our community – working together addressing the issues that matter most to us all here in our area.

30th anniversary of the re-opening of the East Lancashire Railway

Today is the 30th anniversary of the re-opening of the East Lancashire Railway.

The railway is open every weekend of the year and holds a number of themed events throughout the year including a ‘Day out with Thomas’ and the famous ‘1940’s weekend’.

The railway is run by volunteers from the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society (ELRPS) and we would like to take the opportunity of thanking all those involved – the ELR Board, Trustees, Volunteers and everyone that uses it – as it has had a very positive effect on Ramsbottom over those years and helped regenerate our wonderful town.

The initial service operated between Bury and Ramsbottom, via Summerseat.  It was not until 1991 that the service was  extended northwards from Ramsbottom to reach Irwell Vale and Rawtenstall.

Former Ewood Bridge & Edenfield station and the former Junction station of Stubbins have never been re-opened.

In September 2003, an extension from Bury to Heywood was re-opened and the railway line is now over 12 miles long.  In 2016, the new Burrs Country Park station was opened.

The railway has also been featured in many TV shows including BBC One’s ‘Life on Mars’, ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’, and in the 2017 movie, ‘A Monster Calls’ and helped Ramsbottom become the tourist destination that it now is.

Here is a link to their website:

There has long been a call for the ELR to be converted into a commuter railway with a direction connection to the Metrolink and also national rail services.  Let us know your views on this:


Government turns down expansion of Scout Moor Wind Farm

Scout Moor Wind Farm

The Government has refused planning permission for a massive expansion of the Scout Moor wind farm following a public inquiry.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid,  turned down planning permission for a further 14 wind turbines on Scout Moor, above Ramsbottom.

The wind farm is already the largest onshore wind farm in England.  The plans, if approved, would have taken the whole site to 42 wind turbines.

Mr Javid cited the main issues being the character and appearance of the landscape, and heritage assets as the reasons behind his refusal in that the proposed turbines sited near to the edge of the moor would have a “significant adverse effect on the landscape character and visual amenity”.

Mr Javid did not believe the proposed layout would ‘integrate well’ with the existing turbines as the turbines would infill between the existing ones.

Proposed Scout Moor Wind Farm Extension

The plans drew hundreds of objections from residents, Jake Berry MP (Rossendale) and David Nuttall (then MP for Bury North) together with local Councillors and community groups.

Councillor Ian Bevan gave evidence to the planning inquiry on behalf of Ramsbottom residents objecting to the industrial scale of the proposed wind farm when viewed from Ramsbottom.  His speech can be found here: Scout Moor Statement

Further details can be found here:


Cllr Ian Bevan at the Scout Moor Wind Farm Extension Public Inquiry

Funding for Ramsbottom Groups and Organisations

To all local Groups and Organisations:

For your chance to secure £1,000 of community funding for a project in Ramsbottom, please go to and complete an application.

Please then send your application to BEFORE FRIDAY 30 JUNE 2017.

All successful applicants must attend ‘The Pitch’ event on 11 July, 5pm at the Derby High School to secure funds.

The Pitch

Positive reception on the doorstep around Ramsbottom …

We have visited over 1,000 houses across Ramsbottom over the course of this week.  We would like to thank residents for the very warm reception we have had on the doorstep discussing local issues, concerns and the General Election.

If you were out when we called and would like to discuss any issues, then please use the contact form below …


Another Successful Chocolate Festival!

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Ramsbottom’s Chocolate Festival held last weekend was surely the biggest and best yet. The event attracted approximately 30,000 people to Ramsbottom once again.

The event, whose future was thrown into doubt just four weeks ago, went ahead after a great deal of hard work and dedication by Terri and Gregg Fletcher of Ramsbottom Markets, Cllr Rob Hodkinson and others by expanding the area where the Chocolate Festival could go, including Church Gardens and the Market Car Park behind Bridge Street.

Cllr Hodkinson said “Ramsbottom has quite rightly become the top “foodie” town in the north west, if not the whole country, over the last few years.  We are so lucky that we have such a dedicated team of business owners and traders who have worked so hard to put on this event.  I would like to thank them all and especially Greater Manchester Police and all the Stewards who made the event safe and enjoyable for visitors”.

Cllr Bevan added “The Chocolate Festival has become an annual fixture now, and due to the publicity generated and from word of mouth, combined with more traders and good weather it was surely the biggest and best festival yet.  It really did show off Ramsbottom at its best!”

Cllrs Ian Bevan (l) and Rob Hodkinson (r) at Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

If you do have any comments to make on the Chocolate Festival, then please do let us know.


Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival under threat?

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival

Concerns have been raised that this year’s Ramsbottom’s Chocolate Festival may not go ahead – on health and safety grounds.

Bury Council has blocked plans for this year’s festival, due to be held over the weekend of April 8-9th, to be held in the town centre due to overcrowding.

The ever-popular festival, on Bridge Street, regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors.

Ramsbottom Councillor Rob Hodkinson has arranged an urgent high-level meeting with Bury Town Hall officers, event organiser Gregg Fletcher and fellow Councillor, Ian Bevan, in a last-ditch effort to ensure a site can be agreed for this year’s festival.

Cllr Rob Hodkinson added: “After a great deal of hard work and dedication by event organisers, plans to hold the festival on Bridge Street have been stopped in their tracks by the Council on health and safety grounds due to overcrowding last year.”

“Unfortunately, no agreement has been able to be reached for other possible venues for the festival – including Ramsbottom Cricket Club and Ramsbottom Football Club”.

“Ramsbottom has quite rightly become the top “foodie” town in the north west over the last few years. We have a tremendous number of good restaurants, gastro-pubs, tea rooms and independent shops selling a whole range of food.   We are so lucky that we have such a dedicated team of business owners and traders who work hard each year to put on this event.”
“If the event is cancelled it will have a big financial effect on our local economy and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the Chocolate Festival goes ahead this year.”

Long Stay Car Parking for Ramsbottom Town Centre

Ramsbottom Councillors, Rob Hodkinson, Ian Bevan and Ian Schofield have been surveying local businesses in the town to see what they thought about the lack of parking in the centre of town.

Businesses and visitors alike have been complaining about the restricted number of parking spaces in the town. Business owners believe that the lack of parking is forcing residents and visitors to seek alternative locations for shopping and leisure.

Ramsbottom Councillors undertaking Parking Survey

Ramsbottom Councillors undertaking Parking Survey

Coun Hodkinson said “Ramsbottom desperately needs extra parking. It has become a victim of its own success. It is really beginning to affect local trade with visitors being put off by the lack of parking.”

Coun Bevan added “As local Councillors we have had high level meetings with Council officers to determine what can be done. Plans have now been formulated for a possible new parking scheme in the town centre, including the provision of a new 200 space long stay car park adjacent to the town centre.”

Coun Schofield commented “This is subject to finding the capital funding for the groundwork, tarmacadam and line painting but we are urging the Council to use a  proportion of its reserves or seek some capital funding. Businesses are being canvassed on whether they could fund ongoing maintenance for the proposed long stay car park if capital funding can be provided by Bury Council to create a new long stay car park.”

Coun Bevan said “We will obviously work closely with local residents and businesses before we get this project off the ground. Bury Council fully understand that a new long stay car park is crucial to the future success of Ramsbottom town centre.”

Results of Ramsbottom Business Survey on Parking

(approx. 50% of Ramsbottom Town Centre businesses responded)

1. Do you consider there is sufficient overall car parking in Ramsbottom town centre?

Yes – 10%, No – 89%, Don’t Know – 1%

2. Do your customers raise concerns about difficulty in parking?

Yes – 86%, No – 12%, Don’t Know – 2%

3. Do you think that there should be short stay parking within the town centre?

Yes – 76%, No – 18%, Don’t Know – 6%

4. What would you consider to be a minimum short stay time?

30 mins – 6%, 1 hour – 26%, 2 hours – 53%, Don’t Know – 15%

5. How long should limited waiting times on Street Parking be limited to? (Currently 1 hour).

30 mins – 5%, 1 hour – 49%, 2 hours – 46%

6. How many of your staff (including yourself) would require a long stay parking space?

Monday to Friday – 280

Saturday & Sunday – 188

7. Do you think that free parking has a positive effect on your business?

Yes – 97%, No – 0%, Don’t Know – 3%

8. Can you think of any examples of good parking schemes in other towns you have visited? If so, what are they and where?

Rawtenstall – Disc Parking

Clitheroe – Free limited Short Stay but Long Stay Nearby

9. Do you have any further comments or concerns about parking or traffic in the town centre?

“Dedicated Long Stay Workers Car Park”

“Residents Permit Discs”

“£1 Per Day Parking”

“Park and Ride”

“Ticketing System but with no charges”

“No Pay and Display”

“Business owners using prime parking all day – free parking benefits them – not their customers who struggle to park”

“Less traffic warden enforcement”

“Remove the Car Boot Sale from the ELR Car Park to free up spaces”

“Reinstate yellow lines which are fading”

“Lack of parking reduces footfall”

“Better signage of car parks and restriction”

“Remove some of the empty disabled parking bays”