Further details about a £3 million scheme to regenerate Newport Street have been unveiled.
Preliminary plans were revealed by Bolton Council in January, to upgrade Newport Street – a key pedestrian route into the town centre.
Up to £2 million has been set aside for new shop frontages and £1 million for improving the street by putting in new paving, seating, street lights and trees.
Updated plans from Manchester company JM Architects reveal that a new “bolt-on” frame will be attached to the shops to provide a more uniform and consistent look along the street.
The frame, a self-contained unit, will incorporate a new shutter system, lighting and signage. Where the upper floors are used for shop storage, JM Architects plan to apply window film to provide some animation and interest at the upper level.
The council has been talking to property owners and landlords about the different options for the shop fronts – including colour schemes - which the architects have suggested for the project.
The overall scheme has been welcomed by businesses, who are pleased that the council is investing a significant sum in Newport Street.
The design for the street will help create a seamless, open route from the new interchange to Victoria Square, catering for the expected rise in footfall following the construction of the new £48 million transport interchange. A £6.5 million office development at the junction of Great Moor Street and Newport Street was also approved in January.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, said: “Newport Street is a key route for us, for the public and for our businesses.
“We know it’s in need of regeneration and the shops and building are in a poor condition. Having new shop fronts will create a more uniform appearance and provide consistency to the street.
“Together with the new paving and the planned new layout of the street furniture, we’re really looking to create a safe and welcoming environment for people to enjoy, day and night.
“We know that more people will be using the street once the transport interchange opens, and we want to get the scheme right and improve the street for years to come.”
A planning application for the new shop fronts is due to be submitted to the council and all shop owners and affected parties will then be consulted formally.
Subject to planning approval, work should start in Spring. The whole scheme is expected to be complete before the end of 2016.