Bolton sketches 18-acre ‘digital city’
The council is considering a range of joint venture options with developers to bringforward the creation of a “super-connected digital city” as part of its £1.5bn town centre regeneration.
Detailed plans for the project are yet to be revealed but the council has confirmed that the initiative, aimed at “transforming urban areas through the use of superfast, well-connected, interactive technologies”, would be located around Blackhorse Street.
The council is looking to form a joint venture with “one or more” commercial development partners with a proven track record of “delivering large-scale, sustainable regeneration schemes, providing digital infrastructure”.
The development would represent the sixth aspect of Bolton Council’s £1.5bn masterplan to transform the town centre by 2030.
Other major schemes in the pipeline in Bolton include the £250m regeneration of Victoria Square and Crompton Place being brought forward by Beijing Construction and Engineering and Midia, as well as Beechline’s £55m Trinity Gateway project and 87-bedroom hotel at Bolton Le Mans.
A £150m scheme to revamp Church Wharf is being delivered by Muse Developments, and a 200-home, £27.5m residential scheme on the Central Street car park is proposed by Placefirst.
Gerry Brough, director of place at Bolton Council, said: “To fully achieve the aims of the regeneration plan, the town needs to be at the heart of the digital economy and become a centre of innovation for existing and new businesses to flourish.
“Investment in digital platforms and technologies is central to business transformations, new products and the attraction of higher value services for businesses.”
Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council, added: “Embracing innovation and digital technologies is the best way for Bolton to stay competitive, expand and achieve more for businesses and the people living and working in the town.
“Investors should feel reassured that Bolton is driving ahead with longer term plans beyond the completion of the five existing development projects, stimulating additional waves of growth and regeneration in Bolton town centre.”
The council is currently in talks with property owners in the Blackhorse Street area via its appointed agent, real estate advisor Colliers International.