A £1 billion masterplan to regenerate Bolton town centre has been unveiled.
The ambitious redevelopment proposals aim to transform the centre - and £100 million will be funded by the council, with the value of the plan rising to £1 billion as private sector partners come on board.
Work on the huge plan, which will pull together a host of sites for development across the town centre, has been ongoing for several months.
Once the details are finalised in coming weeks it will be made public, and a report about the masterplan will be considered by the council’s Cabinet for approval.
It includes land in council ownership and privately owned where there are development proposals or challenges that need to be addressed.
Bolton Council’s leadership has revealed that the masterplan will focus on:-
- A more focussed and stronger retail core.
- Introducing town centre housing - focussing on empty and brownfield sites close the centre to build high quality housing, including a mixture of affordable homes.
- Grade A office development - there is strong demand for office space and a lack of availability locally and regionally.
The council will borrow £100 million over a 50 year period to kick-start different development schemes and it will mean that no cost savings will need to be made to fund the redevelopment.
The loan will involve a repayment at a very low interest rate, which will be paid back using the Manchester Airport dividend and a dividend from the Yorkshire Purchasing Company, which it receives annually.
Areas for development will include the Church Wharf area, at the rear of Bolton Parish Church, and Trinity Street – where a new hotel, office block and a multi-storey car park could be built.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The masterplan is intended to facilitate the redevelopment and growth of our town.
“We know that town centres have changed due to factors such as the shift to online shopping and this masterplan will reflect that.
“It is very important to us that we are able to fund this robustly and be confident that the money we need will not have to be sourced as a result of cuts – we are very pleased that this will be the case.
“We are speaking to a number of developers about different schemes and this is a complex process which can take a lot of time. We are, however, committed to regenerating Bolton town centre and as soon as possible.
“With the new transport interchange and the investment in electrification, living here if you work in Manchester would be a very good proposition.”