Jon Dyson

Investors can play a starring role in Bolton’s regeneration

You might never have been to Bolton town centre, but chances are you have already seen it up close, writes Jon Dyson of Bolton Council.

Over the past few years, Bolton has built a reputation as one of the best filming locations in the country and has featured in everything from Peaky Blinders to Happy Valley.

This has not happened by accident. Production companies prefer Bolton, not only for our outstanding countryside, historic buildings, and excellent transport links, but because we as a council always go the extra mile to work constructively with the sector and say “yes” to new opportunities.

We take the same approach to the ongoing regeneration of the borough, as we work to create a more vibrant and exciting place to live, work, and visit.

As part of our wide-ranging masterplan, we set aside £100m to acquire underused brownfield sites, demolish old buildings, and lay the groundwork for the private sector.

This in turn has attracted £1bn of investment across the borough as we work closely with our partners to deliver the right mix of retail, residential, hospitality, and leisure offers that modern town centres need.

Farnworth Green CGI

Construction is set to start this spring on the £50m Capital&Centric Farnworth Green regeneration project. Credit: Capital&Centric

Why choose Bolton?

From Step Places delivering 208 homes at the former bus station site on Moor Lane to Capital&Centric replacing an outdated shopping precinct with the new Farnworth Green neighbourhood, there are many exciting developments already underway, each creating further opportunities for future investment at neighbouring sites.

Moor Lane CGI

The Moor Lane housing development by Step Places sits on three brownfield sites, including the former Bolton bus station. Credit: Step Places

It was these opportunities that attracted more than 250 guests to the Invest in Bolton event at the famous Albert Halls this month, to learn more about the borough’s enormous potential. The audience heard about other ongoing projects including the Bolton College of Medical Sciences and the 167 high-quality, sustainable homes being built by Placefirst on Central Street – and why there has never been a better time to invest in Bolton’s future.

Invest in Bolton event

More than 250 guests gathered at the Invest in Bolton event on 2 March. Credit: Bolton Council

The facts speak for themselves.

Bolton has a population of nearly 300,000, with a million people living within 45 minutes of the borough. We are among the top 10 most digitally connected towns in the UK. Our transport links place us within a 2-hour drive of 60% of UK businesses and we are the second largest employment base in Greater Manchester.

We are ambitious too. Newly published research by Deloitte projects that our masterplan will deliver more than 4,000 new jobs, more than 2,000 new homes, and £565m of GDV by 2040.

Plans backed by policy

But as we build on this momentum, we understand that regeneration goes beyond just bricks and mortar. We also want to level up opportunities by bringing in more high-quality jobs and working with the university and other partners to create a more skilled workforce to meet the demands of today’s employers.

Meanwhile, our cultural and visitor economy strategies build on Bolton’s strengths as a hotbed for the performing arts and on our hard-earned reputation as a host of world-class events. We are building on successes like our Food and Drink Festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and on the recent £12m refurbishment of the Octagon Theatre to further boost footfall and bring more money into the borough.

What’s more, our plans have cross-party support with both the council leader and the leader of the opposition speaking at the Invest in Bolton event about their shared vision for the borough. This focus on continuity builds investor confidence and sends a clear message that Bolton is backing these regeneration plans into the long-term.

Find out more

If you are as excited as we are about the many investments opportunities Bolton as to offer, and you value working with a local authority that understands the vital role played by the private sector, then my team and I will be more than happy to hear from you.

Bolton is already used to being in the spotlight and with your support our future could be even brighter.


Bolton Council logo colour

Your Comments

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More rhetoric from Bolton Council. Multiple failed projects over the years – Crompton, Church Wharf, Le Mans, the list goes on. New director of place is strikingly similar from the last one. The Council is way behind the likes of Stockport, Bury, Trafford, Oldham, Rochdale and others from a regeneration and delivery standpoint. Doubtful residents will have any faith in the so called attraction of £1bn investment.

By Anon

Whisper it quietly, but I think Bolton are on fire at the moment.

The Borough also has a genuinely mixed and diverse economy, making it resilient.


Bolton Council really do need to do something, the town centre is embarrassing. There was an article recently on PNW which highlighted the need for Bolton to reduce it’s retail footprint. I think this is vital, condense the retail offering, build more housing and bring more people into the town centre. Bolton is less than 20 minutes on the train to Manchester, it should be thriving but instead it’s dying and the council have been very slow to respond and take the action that is need. Hopefully this is a turning point but improvements need to start happening ASAP.

By Anonymous

What is the breakdown of the £1bn investment?

By Big Sam

Bolton is what you get when you have a council committed to making the wrong decision at every turn. Moving Bolton FC out of the town centre, approving endless retail parks, routing a dual carriageway through the centre of town, and building houses on disused railway lines meaning Metrolink can never reach it. Congrats to all involved.

By Anonymous

Anonymous (1:58pm).

Good points. I fell though that the council have now established what will work. The Farnworth Green project is already underway. Plus, there’s the proposed town houses project by C&C. The Octogan is reborn. Meanwhile, Oldham may potentially not have a theatre in the future.

I agree that Bolton are playing catch up. The renaissance of Manchester and the Trafford Centre hit its shopping for six. But, it’s mixed economy eg legal, manufacturing, food processing, engineering, clerical, insurance, film industry – how many places have that?


Bolton Town centre is a nightmare. There are are more traffic wardens than shoppers. How deliveries by small companies to businesses in the town centre supposed to made when you not even allowed to park near them for a few minutes without having to contribute to the council piggy bank

By Anonymous

Move the hospital into the town Centre it would regenerate the town center… criminal that it moved to farnworth….

By Anonymous

I am still waiting for a taxi rank at Bolton hospital I find it remarkable that the NHS is struggling to get disabled people home while the taxis in Bolton are complaining there’s no work

By Mr Ogden

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