Bolton Crompton Place
Crompton Place

Bolton launches masterplan

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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I remember seeing plans for Victoria Square produced by Lord Leverhulme that envisaged arcaded shops as seen on the Rue de Rivoli but unfortunately the race to the bottom continues. Besmirching the war memorial with an intrusive store sign on a glass box hits a new low. Anything less sensitive to its environment would be difficult to envisage.

By Tony Heyes

As Oldham and Rochdale move forward,Bury continues to thrive,Bolton remains a scruffy neglected town.

By Elephant

Odd, because, not long after the IRA bomb, I knew a lot of people, from all over Greater Manchester, who shopped in Bolton. Still think Bolton is way better than Rochdale & Oldham, which another post mentions. Bury is a great success story, having always been the “better town”, in the north of the conurbation….This is not a surprise when think has affluent Whitfield & Prestwich, to the south, and the trendy villages/towns like Ramsbottom to the north…That being said, Bolton is not without good suburbs of its own.

By Schwyz

Bolton is awful. Litter everywhere. Rubbish shops and total neglect. I work there so I know what it is like. Oldham and Rochdale are at least trying to do something about their towns. Bolton is a nice Town Hall surrounded by a shanty town. A once proud Lancashire town reduced to what it is today. Very sad. Schwyz you need to walk up Deane road.Terrible squalor. Agree there are nice suburbs, but all towns have nice suburbs.

By Elephant

Having visited Bolton for the first time recently, I found the centre somewhat perplexing. What felt like the main street, Bradshawgate was practically deserted on a Saturday afternoon and functioned more as a backstreet, in fact the whole place felt devoid of life until I stumbled on an indoor shopping centre. Weird. There are also too many vacant plots of land and overall it was difficult to get a sense of the place. Quite a challenge for the Council to turn this around.

By Visitor

I see the old Odeon site is finally included in some plans… Obviously the scheme that caused it’s so urgent demolition many years ago (just before it got listed) isn’t being restarted. But then there are many who think it never existed in the first place.

By Cliff's Biggest Fan

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