The former Beales department store will be the site for a new ‘drop-in hub’ designed to showcase Bolton town centre’s ambitious £1.2bn masterplan.
Midia, which is behind much of the transformation of the town centre, plans to occupy part of the ground floor of the building facing Bolton Town Hall.
The 6000 square feet hub will be called ‘Building Bolton’ and it will feature an exhibition space, which will be open to the public, displaying details and drawings of all the projects that have been planned to help regenerate the centre.
Midia also plans to open a high-quality independent coffee shop in the hub so that members of the public can relax and chat while they learn about the various developments.
The final sums for how much the work will cost has not been finalised but is expected Midia will make an investment of several hundred thousand pounds.
Refurbishment work is expected to start imminently by local contractor Seddons, with plans to open the base in Summer.
A spokesperson from Midia said: “With so much activity planned for Bolton over the coming years, we felt that it was important to have a local base in the town centre.
“Our team will not only have the benefit of being on the ground to work on the schemes, but we will also be able to take part in open sessions in the public space, where we can go into more detail about each of the projects that we are working on.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “It’s fantastic to see Midia’s commitment to our town.
“There are so many developments and plans as part of our ambitious masterplan, that Midia and the council wanted to make sure that the public was kept informed every step of the way.
“By creating this hub, people will be able to call in whenever they wish, have a look at the detailed plans and even relax and have a coffee.”
This is the latest in a series of announcements which have been made as part of Bolton town centre’s masterplan since it was launched in 2017.
Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for regeneration, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, added: “It is exciting to see that the former Beales store is to come back into use.
“How fitting that it should do so as a place to inform the public about the town centre masterplan which will transform our town centre for the better.
“The ground floor of the former Beales store will also be taken up by two other businesses and it will be fantastic to see a building in a prime town centre site being used again.”
New occupants have been identified for the former store’s ground floor and works has started on site.
The area facing Deansgate will be taken by Heavenly Desserts alongside a high street fashion retailer.
Timeline of key announcements to date in Bolton’s £1.2bn town centre’s masterplan:-
- September 2017 - £1 billion Bolton town centre masterplan unveiled
- March 2018 – Muse Developments appointed as development partner for Church Wharf
- June 2018 - Bolton Council bought Crompton Place shopping centre for £14.8m
- August 2018 - Bolton Regeneration Limited (BRL) secured strong interest from a number of major institutional investors for the replacement of Crompton Place Shopping Centre
- January 2019 - Muse Developments unveiled vision for £150 million new neighbourhood in Church Wharf and undertake consultation
- February 2019 - £48 million plans for Trinity Gateway revealed by Midia
- February 2019 - Forshaw Developments submitted planning application for a £35 million residential development on land fronting St Georges Road in the Croal Valley site
- February 2019 - Muse Developments submitted planning application for Church Wharf
- February 2019 - Announcement that £12 million of the councils’ £100 million fund to be used to transform four district town centres (Farnworth, Horwich, Little Lever, Westhoughton)
- March 2019 - The value of Bolton town centre masterplan increases from £1bn to £1.2bn due to more private sector interest
- March 2019 - £27.5 million plans unveiled by Placefirst for a build to rent urban village in Croal Valley