VIDEO | How to maximise Bolton’s potential

The themes of health, placemaking, and job creation were at the forefront of a roundtable discussion hosted by Placefirst about how best to regenerate the town centre and the wider borough. 

Bolton, like many northern towns, is attempting to reverse its post-retail decline and transform itself into a vibrant place for residents and visitors alike. 

One key component of that vision is increasing in the number of homes in the heart of the town, while improving the health of the population and increasing the number of well-paid jobs on offer are also on the agenda. 


  • Jon Dyson, director of place, Bolton Council 
  • Rob Haslam, regional head of planning, Harworth 
  • John Moffat, managing director, Capital&Centric 
  • Nick Swift, director, Lamb & Swift Commercial 
  • Rachel Noble, deputy director of strategy, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Greg Walker, pro vice-chancellor, University of Bolton   
  • David Mawson, chief executive, Placefirst 
  • Chaired by Dan Whelan, senior reporter, Place North West 

Key talking points  

Following the decline of high street retail, Bolton town centre needs an injection of activity. The lack of vibrancy was cited by participants as one of the main issues the council should seek to address to shift perceptions. 

One way to do this is by upping the number of homes in the town centre. This, according to Placefirst’s David Mawson, is key to the prosperity of modern town centres.  

In addition, Bolton should do more to exploit its geography. Situated just a short train journey from Manchester, the town should lean into that proximity rather than shying away from it, according to Bolton Council’s Jon Dyson. 

You can hear highlights from the roundtable in the video at the top of this article, as well as on the Place North West YouTube channel.  

Learn more about Placefirst at  

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Your Comments

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Given that Bolton is ethnically diverse, with around 30% of the population from a non-white background, how are the needs of these communities being a) reflected in the discussion taking place at this table and b) in the design and types of homes that are being delivered?

By Bobcat

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