Building work has begun at Moorgarth's regeneration of Bolton Market Place.
Bolton Council approved the £15m transformation of 25,000 sq ft of Victorian vaults under Market Place Shopping Centre into a leisure and retail destination in May this year.
Designed by Wren Architects, the scheme is part of the wider redevelopment of the 400,000 sq ft centre, which includes a 30,000 sq ft cinema to be operated by Light Cinemas, within part of the current multi-storey car park.
Building work will also include renovations to the existing malls and the installation of additional escalators and lifts.
South African retail investor Inception Holdings, working with UK delivery partner Moorgarth, a Leeds-based developer, bought the centre for a reported £24m in November 2013 from administrators of Warner Estates.
The basement refurbishment will deliver new restaurant, bar and shop units. Completion is expected in summer 2015.
The team said that it will ensure that the shopping centre remains fully open for business during the construction period.
Tony Shenton, business unit director of Wates Construction North West, said: "It is an exciting time as the ambitious plans to enhance Bolton Market Place begin to materialise and we have an excellent site team in place poised to ensure that we fulfil our client's vision to create a vibrant leisure destination for the people of Bolton.
"Bolton Market Place will be kept fully operational and our continual engagement with the public and our neighbours will be at the heart of maintaining high standards in health and safety throughout our building works."