A consortium involving Chinese heavyweight Beijing Construction & Engineering Group International has agreed terms in principle with Bolton Council to provide £250m funding for the replacement of the Crompton Place Shopping Centre with a new retail and leisure development, the first phase of Bolton’s town centre masterplan.
Supported by the Department for International Trade and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Bolton has agreed terms with Bolton Regeneration Ltd, a private consortium fronted by Wilmslow-based investment business Midia.
The BRL vehicle said that it in turn has secured strong interest from a number of major institutional investors and has this week agreed heads of terms with BCEGI to join the consortium.
A formal announcement of the deal with BCEGI is expected in the autumn. The final selection of the preferred investor will be made in conjunction with Bolton Council and its property advisors.
Bolton Council acquired the 280,000 sq ft shopping centre 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.
A Midia spokesman said: “This investment is a fantastic opportunity for one of Greater Manchester’s largest towns to establish itself as major player within the Northern Powerhouse.
“Midia has extensive experience in partnering with public sector organisations and we look forward to working closely with Bolton Council to deliver a programme of regeneration that secures long-term economic growth for the town.”
BCEGI is an equity and construction partner in the £1bn Airport City project and is contractor at the large-scale Middlewood Locks residential development in Salford.
Bolton Council’s cabinet gave approval for the replacement of Crompton Place and the implementation of the town centre development framework earlier this month.
JLL will continue to manage the existing retail space, which contains 46 retail units, kiosks, office accommodation and a 285-space car park.
Cllr Linda Thomas, leader of Bolton Council, said: “This is a fantastic vote of confidence in our town and in our council. It enables us to move forward with the delivery of our masterplan and will act as a catalyst for other developments across our borough.
“I look forward to being able to make further announcements about the investment later in the year.”
Midia was advised by Colliers International.