Crompton Place
The town centre scheme was designed by Chapman Taylor

Bolton marches on with Crompton Place approval

Dan Whelan

The £250m mixed-use scheme on the site of the former Crompton Place Shopping Centre has won planning consent and will form part of the £1.5bn transformation of the town centre.

Crompton Place includes a 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes and 113,000 sq ft of office space, delivered by the Bolton Regeneration joint venture between construction firm Beijing Construction Engineering Group International and regeneration specialist Midia. 

Designed by architect Chapman Taylor, the project will also see an extensive redesign of public realm, with large areas pedestrianised. 

A mixed-use retail, leisure, dining and events space known as Bolton Works is also plotted, designed to accommodate independent retailers and food operators. 

Bolton Council acquired the 280,000 sq ft site in June 2018 for £14.8m from Santander Pension Fund. Plans for the scheme were submitted in March this year.

Hive Land & Planning is the planning consultant for the project. 

Victoria Square Bolton Hotel

A 110-bedroom hotel forms part of the plans for Crompton Place

Cllr Martyn Cox, deputy leader of Bolton Council, said: “Crompton Place is a fundamental part of our £1.5bn town centre masterplan. 

“These plans will create a destination that combine town centre living, retail and leisure in a top-quality environment. It means new homes, new jobs and new businesses coming to Bolton.”  

Steven Turner, director of Bolton Regeneration, added: “This development will significantly improve the town centre offer, broaden its appeal, complement existing attractions and enhance the surrounding historic fabric.” 

Other pipeline schemes in Bolton include Beechline’s £55m Trinity Gateway project; an 87-bedroom hotel at Bolton Le Mans; a £150m scheme to revamp Church Wharf, which is being delivered by Muse Developments, and a 200-home, £27.5m residential scheme on the Central Street car park, proposed by Placefirst. 

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This looks like a huge improvement to the current buildings

By EOD

These proposals will rip the heart out out Bolton.. Bolton was always a market town and had thousands of visitors because of this..the market drew in visitors by the coach load and now the town centre is dead.. Bolton will never be Manchester and we should play on what Bolton is famous for and not try and compete with Manchester..the council is getting above themselves

By Mick m

Could this put the heart back into Bolton? As there doesn’t seem to be much heart left.

By Mick m

I think the opposite of everything Mick M just said. Town Centres need to repurpose, not regress or go back to a model that no longer works for modern society. Great credit must go to Bolton Council for being so bold and lets get behind schemes like this or Bolton will never progress. Well done to all involved!!!

By Fred D

What about the revamp for farnworth, as the money for that gone to Bolton again, all the area’s around Bolton that pay council tax it seems to be going to do bolton up, instead of helping the surrounding areas that need it. Bolton Council make me sick, keep wasting money

By J fish

Newport Street is similar to the set of the Walking Dead. Bradshawgate is a sewer full of rats. Deansgate has no appeal.

Pedestrianise the whole area, lower business rates to bring more established businesses back, be sympathetic to the architecture (Le Man’s Crescent) and curb ridiculous licencing and Bolton might have some appeal again.

Start investing in market towns further afield (Westhoughton). There is no reason Bolton cannot can become a benchmark for suburban towns but don’t balls it up by taking on the wrong investors. Mistakes have been made in the past.

By Chunkan

if these developments actually happen it will be the best thing to happen to bolton in a very long time,I for one cant wait to see it happen.

By Margaret Wilson

With Bolton’s sky high rents who will be able to afford to work and live there.

By Andrea Longwrth

I’m closing my business of 35 years in Bolton. Too old to hang around for a half baked and frankly worthless development. It will be at least ten msybe even twenty years before Bolton gets back on its feet and then as a satellite dormatory town to service Manchester, its character and charm has been destroyed everywhere so sad that politicians and planners are ruining this town

By Cliff

These IMPROVEMENTS will kill Bolton town centre, we’ve always been a working town not a giant hotel. Does anybody care what the people of Bolton want. I mean the people born and breed here,not politicians or planners.

By M Storey

The only thing in my view which this proposal will really ‘rip the heart out’ off, is Crompton Place – which needs a heart bypass. A tired and failing shopping centre which belongs in the past. The new proposals are actually rather decent – both the mixed use of the scheme and the architecture. Creating a vista to the town hall – I understand Lord Lever proposed something like this – is a great move. Maybe a modern classical hybrid architecture would be a good move here but the proposals as presented are very good with its mix of roofs, shapes and materials. Plus, its good urbanism. Bolton is really getting its self together.

By SW

Just another nail in boltons coffin. I used to love shopping in Bolton. It’s been destroyed. Well done Bolton council

By June guffogg

Really good to see these improvements in Bolton. I hope that it attracts the right retail investment as units appear to be closing down in the Market Place. Bolton is really changing, a little sad investment coming from China. I wonder what the conditions or contract is ? If I had a choice and a car I would go to the Trafford Centre. Free parking all day. Bolton needs a similar policy

By Ikey

Wrong scheme for Bolton. The footfall’s gone for good…at least they levels that they are hoping for.

If the Council think that the decline of the town over the past twenty years can be suddenly fixed with a development like this then they’re naive or being led down the garden path by their various advisers, partners and stakeholders.

Do they seriously think that the tens of thousands of former visitors who abandoned the town centre from the 1990s onwards are simply waiting in the wings, poised to leap back to support the local area. They’ve gone…

An the reason they’ve gone is because Bolton has decayed…it’s dirty, run-down, and dangerous…and it’s all tolerated by the Council.

By North by North-West

Many years ago, I used to go to Bolton town centre quite a lot with family and mates. I went in early march before lockdown and driving up bradshawgate was shops with the shutters down and some boarded up shops, I parked up in a side street near the old cash converters shop and walked towards the main shops, what a disappointment walking along Newport street (main shopping street in Bolton) towards Victoria Square about half the shops were closed, many had the shutters down.. Bolton town centre decline started in 1997 when the football club left burnden park for the other side of Bolton, horwich. 22,000 footfall vanished on a Saturday afternoon from Bolton town centre. Then in February 1998, Trafford centre, a big massive shopping centre opened with FREE PARKING, with hundreds of shops and restaurants. Then in the summer of 1998, middlebrook retail park opened with FREE PARKING, and within a few years it had a about 50 big name shops, cinema, bowling alley and lots of restaurants… In Bolton, a new bus station was built a few years ago not near the market, so the market is declining because it’s not getting the footfall now. Big name shops have closed like BHS and Preston’s of Bolton jewellery shop and many more and the water place baths shut in 2002. At the end of the day people are shopping online.

By Darren born bred Salford

@M Storey, I’m fascinated by your belief that positive developments would (in your words) “kill Bolton town centre” and that this is because Bolton is a “working town”. I’m fascinated because it hasn’t been a working town for decades. Manual labour is not the economy we have now and will never be again. Factories are automating more and more and in the next 20 years, robotics will replace huge numbers of workers. If Bolton clung to the past, it would surely die faster.
And @North by North-West, I’m equally confused by your claim that this is the “Wrong scheme for Bolton” because Bolton is “dirty, run-down, and dangerous”. Surely if this was the reason, the solution could be to clean up and redevelop the town centre?
Finally, @Darren born bred Salford, I’m going to agree with a lot of what you have said. The biggest problem with Bolton is the loss of retail due to places like the Trafford Centre & other car-centric retail parks – this combined with horrific public transport links. If Bolton was “dirty, run-down, and dangerous” like North by North-West says, and the Trafford centre was clean, maintained and safe, then the solution may be to clean up Bolton – that and improve public transport links via a fully integrated GM ticketing service, regular, frequent, electric trains and possible Metrolink connections. If people can get to Bolton easily and if it is an attractive, safe place to visit, shop, live and work, then perhaps it has a chance against the other successful out of town cores.

By EOD

We need FREE PARKING, but it won’t happen, Bolton council rake in well over a million quid in car parking and enforcement every year.

By Darren born bred Salford