Bolton on the road to economic recovery

£37 million — A cinema, restaurants and bars will be built at the Market Place

£31 million — Bolton One and inset, Keith Davies

£48 million—An artist’s impression of the transport interchange

£9 million — The Cube student apartments in Bradshawgate

£7 million — An artist’s impression of the new Asons building

Demolition work at the corner of Newport Street and Trinity Street in readiness for the new interchange, and below, leader of the council, Cllr Cliff Morris

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , business editor

THE long and slow transformation of Bolton town centre back into a jewel in the crown of the North West economy is starting to take shape.

A five-year recession, starting when the financial world tipped on its head in 2007, has taken a visible toll locally.

But since then, more than £880 million has flowed into the borough of Bolton from the public and private sectors.

And now the visual evidence of that massive investment is finally starting to materialise.

Plenty of dissatisfaction has been voiced locally at Bolton town centre’s fall from grace in recent years — but it is slowly starting to blossom.

Keith Davies, Bolton Council’s director of development and regeneration, described the process as “like watching one of your children growing up”.

“Nothing seems to be happening and then you look at them and they are becoming adults. In this case we are finally starting to see the bricks and mortar, the result of years of long-term planning.”

An indication of what was to come started with the £90 million construction of the new Bolton College — soon to be complete with the opening of the Science, Technology, engineering and Maths centre at a further cost of £4.3 million — and the £31million Bolton One.

Within the next two years, the landscape of the civic centre will change even more.

A £7 million office and restaurant development by local law firm Asons will stand at the gateway to Bolton in Clarence Street, overlooking St Peter’s Way.

Just yards away, £37 million will have been ploughed into creating a nine-screen cinema and complex of restaurants, cafe bars and shops in the refurbished Market Place.

And, despite the recession, the retail sector has invested heavily elsewhere in the town centre — Marks and Spencer (£1.5million), Sainsbury’s (£1 million), BHS (£2.5 million), Wilkinsons (£1.4 million), four tenants in Victoria Plaza in Oxord Street (£1.5 million), Wayne Walker Quality Meats (£1.2 million).

Meanwhile, millions of pounds have also come in from the residential sector with the creation of The Cube in Bradshawgate (£9 million), Holy Trinity Church (£4.5 million), student accommodation at The Bank in Le Mans Crescent (£1 million) and the Pack Horse Hotel (£3 million).

Commercial properties in addition to the Asons investment also include the £13 million office development in Bark Street, Atria in Spa Road (£4.5 million), the Travelodge (£4 million), NCP (£18 million), St George’s House (£1.5 million) and the Excellency Centre (£2 million).

Outside the town centre, £15 million has come from Bolton Council’s partnership with property development and investment firm PSP and the Logistics North’s Cutacre project will realise £202 million.

The Rivington Chase (Horwich Loco Works) development was worth £262 million and the Burnden Leisure project incorporating the Reebok and Bolton Arena will come in at £93 million.

Bolton Council itself has also chipped in with the £4.5 million revamp of Bolton Market, which has just been completed and the exact same figure has been splashed out on refurbishment of the Town Hall to allow other local authority offices to be occupied by private sector companies.

In addition to that, demolition work has now been completed on the £48 million Transport Interchange.

A further £8.9 million has been put aside for “one-off” projects.

Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris believes the public are suddenly starting to see the fruits of years of planning and hard work behind the scenes.

“We always knew it would take at least £1 billion and this is proving to be the case,” he said.

“The private sector has shown faith in the town and they are in partnership with us.

“There are still a lot of challenges in the town centre, but we are gradually getting there.

“The more investment we attract, it is a catalyst for other firms to come into the town. We’ve got to keep talking to them and saying ‘come to Bolton’.”

Comments (12)

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12:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Wolfie190 says...

Is this article taking the p*** out of the people of Bolton ?
Is this article taking the p*** out of the people of Bolton ? Wolfie190
  • Score: 10

4:40pm Sat 1 Feb 14

boltonnut says...

Some council members must have had more " back handers "than a badly behaved child.
Some council members must have had more " back handers "than a badly behaved child. boltonnut
  • Score: 11

5:46pm Sat 1 Feb 14

thomas222 says...

These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open..
These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open.. thomas222
  • Score: 10

6:09pm Sat 1 Feb 14

BWFC71 says...

thomas222 wrote:
These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open..
Not ALL are artist impressions as Bolton One has been open for a while!!!!
[quote][p][bold]thomas222[/bold] wrote: These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open..[/p][/quote]Not ALL are artist impressions as Bolton One has been open for a while!!!! BWFC71
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Sat 1 Feb 14

dougie kay says...

Bolton. a jewel in the crown of the north west?,more like a piece of fools gold on a crown of thorns.
Bolton. a jewel in the crown of the north west?,more like a piece of fools gold on a crown of thorns. dougie kay
  • Score: 12

7:37pm Sat 1 Feb 14

thomas222 says...

BWFC71 wrote:
thomas222 wrote: These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open..
Not ALL are artist impressions as Bolton One has been open for a while!!!!
OooooPs! Other five arnt though.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thomas222[/bold] wrote: These are artists impressions and we will see how well spent the money has been once they open..[/p][/quote]Not ALL are artist impressions as Bolton One has been open for a while!!!![/p][/quote]OooooPs! Other five arnt though. thomas222
  • Score: 7

8:53pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Iluminati says...

Hope it will work out as planned. Remember how the lovely old Victorian style Market hall was transformed into a place called oblivion, created by greedy uncaring investors. Fortunately, it didn't work out for them of which I'm very relieved of.
What makes me think now is how will the borough of Bolton spend all that money, available to them? For the citizen's environment ?. For politically gains?. For the Privat investors?, or for the council's friends on the tender lists??
I'm really looking forward to all this.
Hope it will work out as planned. Remember how the lovely old Victorian style Market hall was transformed into a place called oblivion, created by greedy uncaring investors. Fortunately, it didn't work out for them of which I'm very relieved of. What makes me think now is how will the borough of Bolton spend all that money, available to them? For the citizen's environment ?. For politically gains?. For the Privat investors?, or for the council's friends on the tender lists?? I'm really looking forward to all this. Iluminati
  • Score: 14

12:16am Sun 2 Feb 14

wsw69 says...

And yet we are still lumbered with that d 1 P 5H 1 T clueless oxygen thief Cliff thicko Morris at the helm and puffing away on his own trumpet.

Good luck Bolton Town Centre Ltd, you need all the luck you can get by the cart load.
And yet we are still lumbered with that d 1 P 5H 1 T clueless oxygen thief Cliff thicko Morris at the helm and puffing away on his own trumpet. Good luck Bolton Town Centre Ltd, you need all the luck you can get by the cart load. wsw69
  • Score: 16

12:20am Sun 2 Feb 14

wsw69 says...

All about just the town centre while the rest of the borough festers like an old tramps underpants.

Let's get rid of Cliff the stiff Morris and Co the sooner the better. The man and his cohorts are idiots beyond belief.
All about just the town centre while the rest of the borough festers like an old tramps underpants. Let's get rid of Cliff the stiff Morris and Co the sooner the better. The man and his cohorts are idiots beyond belief. wsw69
  • Score: 19

4:43pm Sun 2 Feb 14

p.rhanna says...

Had the unfortunate pleasure of having to drive through bolton centre today.....jewel in the clown more like......!
A diamond in the rough........a dreadful and sorrowful mess.......!!
Had the unfortunate pleasure of having to drive through bolton centre today.....jewel in the clown more like......! A diamond in the rough........a dreadful and sorrowful mess.......!! p.rhanna
  • Score: 14

7:36pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Harold 1 says...

Bolton is beyond repair ...It's become a ghetto and thanks to to the anti motorist council they've successfully driven people out of town. I have been a victim twice of unreasonable parking attendants and do my utmost to avoid the town centre. Another own goal for the Clown Hall
Bolton is beyond repair ...It's become a ghetto and thanks to to the anti motorist council they've successfully driven people out of town. I have been a victim twice of unreasonable parking attendants and do my utmost to avoid the town centre. Another own goal for the Clown Hall Harold 1
  • Score: 15

9:04pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Endoxa says...

I'm all in favour of 'long term planning' but what about also dealing with the present. Oh yes, that's what caused the decline in the first place... If this is now a 'flower starting to bloom' then there's still an awful lot of weeds in the garden!
I'm all in favour of 'long term planning' but what about also dealing with the present. Oh yes, that's what caused the decline in the first place... If this is now a 'flower starting to bloom' then there's still an awful lot of weeds in the garden! Endoxa
  • Score: 12

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