What next for trio of major Bolton schemes?
Capital&Centric is lined up to deliver the stalled Trinity Gateway residential project, while the council’s search for partners to bring forward the redevelopment of Le Mans Crescent and Crompton Place continues.
At a special event last week, the council outlined Bolton’s development opportunities to potential investors.
Council leader Martyn Cox said the borough was open for business and eager to collaborate with the private sector to deliver its pipeline and boost economic growth.
Le Mans Crescent, Crompton Place, and Trinity Gateway present the three largest opportunities identified by the council; the three projects have an estimated combined GDV of £250m.
There was much excitement around the hat-trick of town centre projects when they were first announced but progress ground to a halt when Bolton Council parted ways with Midia – latterly known as Granite Turner – and Bolton Regeneration, the joint venture between Midia and BCEGI, in 2021.
Bolton Regeneration was dissolved last year.
In 2019, Bolton granted Midia planning permission for an 87-bedroom hotel with 17 serviced apartments within the grade two-listed Le Mans Crescent building.
The council, which missed out on Levelling Up Fund cash to revive the scheme earlier this year, said it will review feedback from the failed bid before deciding on next steps.
The £175m redevelopment of Crompton Place, arguably the highest profile project within Bolton’s town centre pipeline, stalled after plans from Bolton Regeneration were approved in 2020.
Bolton bought the 230,000 sq ft shopping centre in June 2018 for £14.8m from Santander Pension Fund.
The site was earmarked for a complete overhaul that would provide a 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes, and 113,000 sq ft of office space.
Last year, Place North West reported the project would be delayed until at least 2024.
At the Invest in Bolton event, the council’s director of place Jon Dyson said the project remains one of Bolton’s “significant investment priorities”.
He added that discussions with potential partners were ongoing and that the council was working towards securing vacant possession of the centre.
One key site that is progressing is Trinity Gateway, another ex-Midia/Granite Turner development.
Plans for a 20-storey residential tower comprising 144 apartments were approved in 2019 but the site remains vacant.
Capital&Centric has now stepped in to take over the scheme, having agreed a deal to bring forward housing on several gateway sites totalling 6.2 acres.
The developer is looking to re-masterplan the site as part of its wider Neighbourhood scheme, which aims to regenerate sites around the train station and bus interchange.
Instead of a tower, plans are being worked up for “design-led townhouses”, according to the council.
Speaking at the event, Capital&Centric co-founder Tim Heatley said Bolton was “leading the pack” of GM towns bidding to deliver an alternative to city centre living.
The three major schemes form part of an overarching regeneration strategy for Bolton. A study of the town centre by Deloitte outlined the scale of what could be delivered in over the next two decades.
The population of the town centre currently stands at around 2,00o people. By 2040, this could rise to around 9,500, according to Deloitte.
Bolton’s residential pipeline in the town centre – which includes Placefirst’s £35m Central Street scheme that started on site recently – could boost property values from an average of £160,000 currently to £460,000 in 2040, according to Deloitte’s projections.