Bolton Council has confirmed in principle over £250m of private sector investment funding.
Plans to replace the Crompton Place Shopping Centre on Victoria Square with a new state-of-the-art retail and leisure destination as the first phase of Bolton’s ambitious £1bn town centre regeneration masterplan have been confirmed.
The project represents a major new component of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
Working in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), the council has secured the involvement of Bolton Regeneration Limited (BRL), a private consortium led by investment and development specialist, Midia.
BRL has in turn secured strong interest from a number of major institutional investors and this week agreed heads of terms with Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International (BCEGI) to join the consortium.
It is expected a formal announcement will be made in the autumn. The final selection of the preferred investor will be made in conjunction with Bolton Council and its property advisors.
A spokesperson from Midia said: "This investment is a fantastic opportunity for one of Greater Manchester’s largest towns to establish itself as major player within the Northern Powerhouse. Midia has extensive experience in partnering with public sector organisations and we look forward to working closely with Bolton Council to deliver a programme of regeneration that secures long-term economic growth for the town.”
BCEGI is an equity and construction partner in the £1bn Airport City project at Manchester Airport and the preferred contractor for the new £1bn Salford mixed-use development, Middlewood Locks.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet gave approval for the replacement of Crompton Place and the implementation of the Bolton town centre development framework earlier this month.
Property management company JLL will continue to manage the existing retail space, which contains 46 retail units, kiosks, office accommodation and a 285-space car park covering more than 280,000 sq ft.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Linda Thomas, described the investment by BRL as a “huge opportunity” to transform Bolton town centre.
She added: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence in our town and in our council. It enables us to move forward with the delivery of our masterplan and will act as a catalyst for other developments across our borough.
“I look forward to being able to make further announcements about the investment later in the year.”
Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, said: “This is a resounding vote of confidence in the council and its vision for the town centre.
“The investment will generate significant economic benefits not only for Bolton but also for the wider Northern Powerhouse region, with the potential to create new jobs for our residents. There is a lot of detailed work that now needs to be undertaken but there is no doubt that this is an exciting time for Bolton.”
Midia/Bolton Regeneration Ltd was advised by Colliers International.