The local authority’s executive cabinet will next week be asked to approve a £1m commitment from its Town Centre Strategy budget on improving public realm in five parts of the town centre.
Bolton is looking to add to the quality of its public space by replacing existing materials with stone paving, granite kerbs and some resurfaced roads in key areas, supporting a development programme that includes Church Wharf, Trinity Gateway and the Octagon Theatre’s redevelopment.
Should the executive give its approval, two of the five sites, with a combined worth of £250,000, will be taken under the umbrella of the Octagon project, which was last summer awarded to Willmott Dixon.
Howell Croft South is expected to have a build programme of three months and Coronation Street six weeks at the Octagon site.
A report by assistant director for economic development and regeneration Phil Green said: “The current scope of works includes an element of making good in respect of the external areas with the end product giving a visual appearance of a patchwork quilt.
“It is proposed that these works be included within the overall redevelopment of the Octagon and approval is sought for this addition to the Octagon contract of works. This will ensure that works are completed in line with the programme requirements for the Octagon Theatre.”
The first two sites to be undertaken could be Bridge Street and Great Moor Street, which are budgeted at £340,000 and £150,000 respectively. According to the report, there are no impediments to work starting as soon as procurement can be concluded, notwithstanding a suitable lead-in time for materials to be sourced.
Bridge Street is estimated as a five-month project, and Great Moor Street six weeks.
Regarding the last site for investment, Green noted that “it may be prudent” to wait until the future of the Beales building is determined before starting work on Old Hall Street/Deansgate. The department store closed at the end of 2016.