Work starts on £1.8m flood basin in park to prevent flooding in Greater Manchester homes

The project is designed to tackle a long history of flooding to properties.

Work is set to start next week on a £1.8m project to create a flood basin in a public park and protect 200 homes in Horwich town centre.

The work, in Old Station Park and funded by the Environment Agency, starts on 8 August and is expected to be completed by December.

The project is designed to tackle a long history of flooding to properties in the town centre from Pearl Brook. There have been six reported flooding incidents in the area in the last 20 years and the problem is expected to get worse due to climate change. Up to 200 properties could be at risk of flooding during exceptional rainfall events.

The project aims to use part of Old Station Park to temporarily store flood water during large storms by using the existing embankments to form a  storage basin. Some new sections of embankment will be constructed to complete the basin in the area between Pearl Brook and St John Street.

Flood water will be diverted to a basin formed at Old Station Park, Horwich Credit: via LDRS

The scheme has a lifespan of 100 years and to ensure the basin remains waterproof, some trees will be removed. Bolton Council said it is looking into opportunities for a new planting scheme in other areas of the park.


The scheme has been designed to avoid the stone cobbles that once formed the station platforms as much as possible. However, the council has committed to reusing the cobbles that must be taken up in the same area of the park.

The football pitches will not be affected but the children’s play area will be closed for the duration of the works. A new play area will be constructed on the other side of the watercourse and the multi-use games area will be refurbished.

It is expected these will open in early summer, 2023. Work to improve the highway drainage on Winter Hey Lane at the junction with Chorley New Road will also be undertaken in September.

Properties in this area are currently at additional risk of flooding from other sources. Winter Hey Lane will be closed at the junction for approximately two weeks for safety reasons due to the narrow width of the road.

Access to businesses will remain open and a diversion will be in place.


A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “While we cannot eradicate the risk of flooding completely, these works will mean greater protection to homes, businesses, roads and other infrastructure. We would like to thank the public in advance for their patience whilst these important works are carried out.”