Transition Town Bolton Rotating Header Image

A Sustainable Vision for Bolton – 2012-2026

At a recent Transition Town event held on 11 Feb 2012 local people got together and asked themselves..

“What will Bolton Look like in 14 years time – and how will we get there?”


The 14 year view matches Bolton Councils 14 year ‘core strategy and local development framework vision’ for the town. To be fair to Bolton Council the 14 year development vision is a central government target that appears to be based on the assumption that the world will always have an ever lasting volume of cheap oil and the cheap materials required to power global supply chains and dispose of old products in landfills.

The global Transition Town Movement is not alone in highlighting the fact that the world is running out of cheap resources very fast and that we would do better to recognise these facts and re-think some very basic assumptions about how we are going to live and work in this century in this town. That is what we mean by sustainable vision for Bolton..

There were 7 very positive workshops that were decided by the people of Bolton who took the time to come along, thanks to everyone who came!


Open space

Deciding the Agenda


Jobs and Skills Workshop - what jobs and skills will we need.


What will the Natural and Built Environment be like by 2026?


What did we achieve?

Each Workshop decided what their VISION would be by 2026 to the right. You can see how each group of people wanted to progress from 2012 (on the left) towards this vision (by 2020) and they want to encourage as many of Bolton residents to join in and create a new vision for a new local economy. This is what Transition Towns are about, creating the new economy with the knowledge, resources and the new skills that we’ll share over the next 14 year period.

Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Transport More community representatives on the cycle forum.More promotion of the Cycle Forum.More bike training courses for individuals.

Practical information in suitable walking routes from different communities to town centre.

More community representatives on the right of way forum.

More bike recycling projects to make bikes more accessible.

Street parties to demonstrate how good it feels to reclaim the streets from motor traffic & develop community identity.

Cycle storage hub in Bolton where people can store bikes and have showers etc.

Less need for transport because local services are within walking distance.

Buses integrated on inner and outer circle to link spokes of Bolton wheel.

Subsidised tickets – Payment of “cross border services” ?

Make streets pleasant, no kerbs, more trees & greenery.

Aesthetic walking & cycling routes.

Inclusive transport system for less able people.

VISION – Design roads to prioratise pedestrians and cyclists.Less need for ‘Transport’ because local services are within walking distance.
Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Food Set up a working group to liase with the Council to address issues – implement projects – e.g. Landshare – Localism Bill opportunities.An ‘Abundance’ Group is setup concentrating on food collection – waste reduction.

Events at the Canopy (town centre) that are linked to the food festival with a Local Food Theme.

Promotion of seed and plant swaps that increase the knowledge and diversity of food crops grown in Bolton.

Aim for 5 or 6 market gardens set up within the borough run by co-ops/social enterprises to really start making local food inroads into what Boltoninans eat.A Heaton Fold and Smithills Educational Facility is opened.

Waste issues with fast food addressed.

Incentives for reducing waste are in place for fast food outlets.

Central info hub for educational purposes offering environmental awareness & offering classes on nutrition with access to workshops and groups that are growing alternative plants across Bolton and offering families alternatives to fast food such as ‘one pot’ healthy recipes – perhaps involving Doctors and Health groups across Bolton.

Forest gardens established, perhaps in green corridors and within walking distance to settlements.

Lessons in grafting so that productive plants can be copied and pasted across Bolton.

Land is freely available to grow singularly and communally.

At least one community allotment in all wards.

Public spaces – are used for growing the edible and useful plants and trees in a similar way to Incredible Edible Todmorden.

VISION – Many more local jobs created linked to local food production and sale in market gardens and markets.The setting up of Estate Based food Cooperatives
Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Jobs and Skills Form a working group that connects all educational organisations such as schools, colleges and the university to the skills and jobs needed across Boltons’ many private, public and cooperative organisations with a view to concentrating on the materials, jobs and service skills Bolton will need during the gradual phase out of cheap oil and related materials as we adapt to these economic forces. How do we get our voices heard in the right places?Starting at school and other learning points – teach practical things.

People becoming more involved in making decisions about their lives, knowing that they can take control followed by training and education.

More community enterprises and workers cooperatives for example The kitchen on great moor street opposite the new bus station – that will create the jobs and skills needed in the local food economy discussed in the food workshop above.

More collaboration.

More involved decision making.

Reward for ideas that work.

Redirect business to focus local.

Emulate the John Lewis Model and give people ownership of the welfare and trade of the town.

Creating a local fabric of jobs and skills that work locally.

Everybody involved – no space then for blame or regret.

Social inclusion for all.

Everyone usefully engaged in a place they want to be.

VISION – Bolton is the place that people want to be
Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Energy and Resources Good examples for people to see and copy – that it works !Talk to people about energy and resource use.

Use Freegle and charity Shops

Giving information, emails to people, newsletters, opportunities to find out, informing children and adults.Community advisors to help people.

Promote the wearing of appropriate & warm clothing – for example thin layers etc – Small things can make a big difference to feeling warmer and more comfortable.

Make action easy and accessible.

Make products that last longer and buy them rather than cheaper ones – perhaps include this in the Jobs and Skills needed for a lower energy and resource future.

Many energy efficient buildings – district heating, well insulated etc.

Renewable resources e.g. Ground source heat pumps – wind turbines – district heating – biomass – micro hydro!

Bolton a showcase for energy efficiency we can help work with business & others to promote it.

Aim to make Bolton a centre for energy efficiency – events held by local government etc.

VISION – People using much less energy and resources. Fewer and smaller cars, more people walking and cycling.

Energy efficient buildings and transport.

Wear clothes that generate energy.

People very aware of this issue.

Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Community and working together What is happening in our area and celebrate sustainability.Knowing your neighbours. Schools – working with schools – what we teach our children is their future.Reconnect local history.

Communal living.


Economically and Democratically self sufficient and focused locally.

VISION – Community and working better together.
Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Natural and built Environment Start with an ‘Assessment of the Borough of Bolton’ map the assets, see the gaps and identify the groups.Bring them together and take action.

Promote and publisise projects and get more people involved.

Find people to work with to campaign for a better Natural and built environment.

Bio-diversity action plans need re-invigorating. Where are we now with them. Campaign around it.Promotion of Agro-forestry alongside improving green corridors so that we design in accessible food.

Open up the Croal river as a functioning green and blue space to bring nature into the town & stimulate it’s regeneration.

Community orchards and nice spaces to visit and spend time.

Cleaner rivers etc.

VISION – Greener corridors, cheaper, energy efficient buildings. A vibrant town centre.

Community involvement in many of the towns projects and a cooperative way working.

Workshop Name from 2012 by 2020 Vision by 2026
Revisting Agenda 21, TT thinking, Permaculture and principles of the Circular Economy Bolton Uni – Enterprise society – Students Unions – Workshops.Transport Workshops with Bolton Planners – Cycle Awareness Training A unified media department – including Bolton University, the Council, Community groups. Communications?Sponsored cultural events.

More creative play in Bolton to make Bolton an attractive place to visit.

Redesigned safe roads.

VISION – Local goods and services paid for with a local currency – council supported ‘Micro-Finance’ The idea of ‘Bolts’

One Comment

  1. [...] more inforamtion about ‘A sustainable Vision for Bolton’ visit Please share this if you like [...]

Leave a Reply