After signalling its intention to deliver the project last summer, the construction and investment group has signed a deal with developer Midia and Bolton Council to bring forward a £250m replacement of the town’s Crompton Place shopping centre.
BCEGI’s involvement was first revealed last August, and the group has now agreed a heads of terms partnership with the council and Midia. This will see the partners deliver a mixed-use retail, office, leisure, and residential destination, although plans are still at an early stage.
The site of the ageing 280,000 sq ft shopping centre will be comprehensively overhauled with the streetscape opened up and improved to open up pedestrian links to Bradshawgate.
Bolton Council acquired the site on Victoria Square in June for £14.8m from Santander Pension Fund with the aim of triggering the town centre masterplan. The local authority used the £100m town centre fund it has set up as part of its commitment to the masterplan to fund the purchase.
JLL will continue to manage the existing retail space, which contains 46 retail units, kiosks, office accommodation and a 285-space car park.
Bolton Council’s director of place Gerry Brough said: “The agreement between Midia and BCEGI, marks a key milestone in the redevelopment of Crompton Place and the broader Bolton Town Centre Strategy.
“Securing the support of companies of international standing is a major achievement for Bolton and highlights the opportunities available to other developers and investors.
“In a competitive marketplace for attracting investment, the council’s decision to purchase Crompton Place last year has made this agreement possible.
“There is a clear message that Bolton is open for business and I’m sure even more investors will be taking note of the opportunities our town has to offer.”
Yu Dongwen, lead director, BCEGI said: “BCEGI is very pleased to be starting this exciting journey with our new partners at Bolton. BCEGI is committed to the UK, particularly the Northern Powerhouse region and we look forward to working with Midia to bring forward the redevelopment plans for Bolton town centre.”
A spokesperson from Midia said: “This is a significant milestone for the future of Bolton town centre, and we are delighted to be playing such an integral delivery role in redeveloping Crompton Place. The partnership means that we can now move forward with our regeneration plans, whilst also creating new jobs throughout the life cycle of the build programme.”
Other schemes coming forward in Bolton include a 200-home, £27.5m proposal by build-to-rent specialist Placefirst on the Central Street car park.
Along with the houses, Placefirst is also proposing a 15,000 sq ft office with ground floor commercial space fronting Deansgate, one of Bolton’s key links to the town centre.
Midia is also involved on a 20-storey tower, proposed next to Bolton transport interchange, which will also see a multi-storey car park and a 30,000 sq ft office delivered.
Elsewhere, Muse submitted its £150m plans for Church Wharf, also on the River Croal; this will feature 350 homes, 130,000 sq ft of offices and leisure, as well as extensive public realm.