Brief launched for £300m Bolton Innovation Zone

Developers are being sought for a 165-acre project in Bolton to be anchored by new university facilities and a digital media park.

The brief for the £300m, Bolton Innovation Zone has been published by Bolton council and aims to stimulate economic growth in the Lancashire town during the ten-year build programme.

The core elements include the expansion of the University of Bolton, one of the UK's fastest growing universities, and the co-location of Bolton Community College and Bolton Sixth Form College.

A spokesman for the council said: "This represents the North West's largest single planned investment in further education facilities and will serve as a catalyst for the creation of new jobs in growth sectors such as creative industries and digital media.

"This innovation and cultural hub will also include major investment in a new bus and rail Transport Interchange as well as new healthcare facilities."

There will also be a requirement to provide improvements to the town's cultural quarter around Le Mans Crescent.

Cllr Ebrahim Adia, Bolton council's executive member for development, said: "The Bolton Innovation Zone is a fantastic development and investment opportunity, which will provide contemporary transport and community facilities; a major education hub and a collection of modern cultural facilities which will enhance Bolton's cultural offering for both residents and tourists. The regeneration of the town will attract over £1 billion in public and private sector investment, as well as creating almost 20,000 jobs."

Earlier this year, Ask Developments in a joint venture with Bluemantle was selected as the preferred developer for the 13-acre Church Wharf site, one of several council-owned sites being offered to the market in the town.

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