A new £40m student village is being planned by a public-private partnership in Bolton at Cheadle Square behind the arches on Le Mans Crescent to accommodate 850 students.
As part of the plans, the university will also move into the centre sections of Le Mans Crescent, where its student union president, the vice chancellor and registrar will be based as the university head office. In addition, the law school will relocate adjacent to the magistrates' court.
Bolton Council said it had been in talks for months with the University of Bolton to identify the best site to replace its existing student accommodation. Council and university chiefs have now identified Cheadle Square and preliminary designs by Green Tea Architects LLP have been unveiled. These will now undergo further refinement and review. Subject to the final scheme being agreed, delivery could take place in either one phase or two parts.
A memorandum of understanding has now been signed by Bolton Council, the University of Bolton and PSP Bolton LLP, the developer delivering the scheme, underlining their commitment to the joint project.
Funding for the village will come from PSP, the council would provide the land for the campus and the university would agree an annual rental income to the council.
The agreement also means council and university bosses have given the go ahead for PSP to undertake more detailed design and costing work. Once this has been carried out, and legal terms agreed, a planning application could be submitted in the autumn. Subject to approvals, PSP could start work on creating the new campus next spring, with building work likely to take a few years.
The new campus will replace the university's existing halls; Orlando Village, on Thynne Street, and The Hollins on Radcliffe Road which together provide 700 single study bedrooms.
It is envisaged that the new halls will contain a range of accommodation, including studio apartments, and flats with en-suite rooms and kitchens. Rental cost would vary to reflect the standard of the accommodation.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: "We are committed to driving economic growth and this is a very important piece of our town centre regeneration plan. Introducing a major student campus of this kind really establishes Bolton as a university destination. And a town centre student village means that there will be thousands of additional residents in Bolton town centre, which will mean more customers and footfall for businesses."
University of Bolton has 11,000 students and 800 staff.