Bolton majors on flexibility with fresh prospectus

The likelihood of long-lasting socio-economic changes brought about by Covid-19 could influence the six intervention areas in its £1bn masterplan, the council’s advisor Deloitte said.

Deloitte has authored an investor prospectus detailing how Bolton’s Vision 2030 programme will seek to address a world where uncertainty has taken hold. The prospectus was initially created to be launched at MIPIM 2020, and has been updated to take into account how markets have changed since. Specifically, it aims to show how Bolton and its development partners can adapt plans at priority development zones.

These mixed-use strategic intervention areas are at Trinity Quarter, Church Wharf, Crompton Place/Bolton Victoria Square, Croal Valley, Cheadle Square and the new Blackhorse Street-Bolton Digital City.

Muse is the main partner in the Church Wharf area, having submitted plans in 2019 for a £150m scheme. The most recent proposal in the Trinity Quarter emerged when a Godwin deal completed in July.

Deloitte’s report claims that Bolton may benefit as ‘going local’ presents future opportunities. “Town centres may become home to new spaces offering touchdown space for working collaboration, providing an alternative to both travelling to the regional centre and traditional office space.”

The consultant added that the diverse and flexible nature of the schemes within its key areas mean that it can meet demands such as purpose-built large floorplates to accommodate socially distanced workplace guidelines; co-working space to reflect agile working practices, the reduction of retail in the high street mix; and improved public space and active travel corridors.

The intention is that by 2030, Bolton’s regeneration programme will have provided 1,700 homes and 4,400 full-time equivalent jobs, with its town centre population growing from less than 2,000 to more than 6,000.

Simon Bedford, partner at Deloitte and head of the firm’s local government development team, said: “Bolton Council remains committed to delivering its plans for a redeveloped town centre and continues to engage with developers and investors to understand the implications of the pandemic on committed and emerging schemes within the six identified opportunity areas.

“Local retail centres will have a role in driving future economic recovery as consumers increasingly choose to buy local, supporting local businesses and supply chains post COVID-19.”

Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council, said: “The flexible and adaptable nature of our six mixed-use schemes, and the commitment of our developer partners, means we remain on course to deliver a transformed town centre by 2030.”

The prospectus in full is available online.

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