Bolton Council has published its framework for development in its town centre, billed as a £1bn blueprint to shape development up to 2030 and beyond.
The masterplan, work on which has been led by BDP, includes five strategic sites, with the council setting targets of 1,800 homes, 7,400 jobs and the generation of economic activity worth an additional £412m.
The areas identified are Trinity Quarter, Cheadle Square, Crompton Place, Church Wharf and Croal Valley.
Bolton Council announced initial details of the plan in July and has since approved borrowing £100m to assemble sites, make schemes development-ready, and cover public realm and infrastructure improvements. The remainder of the plan will be funded by private sector investors.
The council hopes for work to start on the first phase of site clearance in spring 2018.
Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said: “This masterplan shows how forward-thinking and ambitious this council really is.
“We now want to get to work as quickly as possible. We are already speaking to a number of developers and partners about delivering the different schemes outlined in the framework.
“Although it is ambitious we are confident that this is an achievable vision that identifies key areas of the town centre, and it will be a game-changer in terms of transforming the centre of Bolton.”
The outline proposals are:
Trinity Quarter: a mixed office and residential development. A hotel, office block and multistorey car park could be built at Trinity Gateway, where the council is already in talks with NCP. A pedestrian route through Trinity Square is proposed with four interlinked public spaces.
Cheadle Square: housing and apartments on the former bus station site. The creation of student housing and a mixed-use scheme on Queen Street to complement cultural venues such as the museum, library and Octagon theatre; and establishing a pedestrian route between the Town Hall and Le Mans Crescent to Queens Park.
Crompton Place: the framework envisages transforming the empty BHS store with an upper floor food court overlooking Victoria Square, exploring the possibility to expand Primark and creating a new pedestrian access between Bradshawgate and Hotel Street.
Church Wharf: to be designated as a distinct town centre quarter, with a mix of apartments and town houses, as well as a pedestrian route along the River Croal.
Croal Valley/Central Street: opening up the River Croal with an improved environment to make it a town centre feature – proposals include building houses and flats which would overlook the improved river frontage. A series of pocket parks are proposed along the river.
Cllr Morris added: “It is no secret that town centres across the country continue to face tough challenges. We are also realistic that the plan may need to change and adapt over the years to reflect changing economic conditions.
“What we do know is that without the council’s direct intervention, there is a risk that the necessary pace and scale of change that is required will simply not be achieved.
“This is not simply looking at one or two compact areas in isolation – it is joined up, strategic planning to transform the town centre for decades to come.”
The masterplan is proposed to be formally adopted on Monday at Bolton’s cabinet meeting.
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