Bolton Wanderers unveil £100 million 'Middlebrook masterplan' at Reebok Stadium

The Middlebrook Masterplan

£100 million plan at the Reebok Stadium

First published in News
Last updated

BOLTON Wanderers have unveiled ambitious plans to build a massive £100 million sport, education and office development next to the Reebok Stadium.

The proposals, codenamed the ‘Middlebrook masterplan’, span the Reebok, Bolton Arena and surrounding land.

They are a joint enterprise between Burnden Leisure, the company that owns Wanderers, and Bolton Arena Trust, which runs the arena.

The scheme includes plans for a free school run by Wanderers, which, it is thought, would be the first school in England run by a football club outside the Premier League.

The plans are described by the developers as “a major regional sports and education centre”, and also feature seven-storey office buildings, new football pitches and expansion of the stadium’s west stand.

The plans include:

  • An upgraded and reconfigured arena building for full-time sports academy use, with accommodation for up to 500 students.
  • The construction of a new 105 metre sports building linked to Bolton Arena, which would house sports halls, tennis courts, changing facilities, administration, indoor football pitch and viewing lounge.
  • Upgrades to sports facilities at Bolton Arena, including improvements to the running track, an artificial match pitch, and new floodlit five-a-side pitches.
  • A new five-storey, 5,000sq m education building to the south of Burnden Way, which could house a free school and sports academy.
  • Restructuring and expansion of the Reebok Stadium’s west stand to provide up to 3,000 sq m of accommodation, with new hospitality areas and administration facilities.
  • Up to 29,000 sq m of commercial and office accommodation in a “grand arc” of seven-storey buildings on land next to the Reebok’s north stand.

Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside said: "In 1996 the club's then board had the vision to build the Reebok Stadium with its integrated hotel, conference and office facilities.

"Now we are adding to that vision with the exciting proposals that we have outlined.”

A seperate scheme is also being developed that includes upgraded facilities, including a new pavilion at the Bolton Wanderers academy site in Ox Hey Lane, Lostock.

The masterplan proposals are still in their early stages, but a formal planning application is expected to be submitted soon.

Bolton Arena is owned by Bolton Council, but is run by the not-for-profit community organisation, the Bolton Arena Trust.

Arena managing director Paul Bartle said: “The long term increases in our usage over the years have placed increasing demands on our facilities.

“It has for some time been our strategy to look for opportunities to further enhance those facilities and offer Bolton and the North West world-class facilities, programmes and events that inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to follow a lifelong passion for sport and healthy activities.

“This scheme expands and upgrades the existing facilities at Bolton Arena, and proposes a regional sports hub for both elite and community sports users, combined with modern, sports-led education provision.”

Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris said he welcomed anything that brought new investment to Bolton, but would judge the plans on their merits when he had seen them.

The plans will be presented to the public at an exhibition at Bolton Arena’s reception area on Thursday, November 15 from 2-7pm, where visitors will also have the chance to quiz the design team.

Bolton West MP Julie Hilling said: “The proposed development seems to be an exciting new venture for Horwich.

“We already have impressive sports facilities at the Reebok Stadium and Bolton Arena — it would be wonderful to attract more to our area.

“However there is a lot of information to take on board so it is important that residents look at the plans.”

Cllr Lindsey Kell — who represents Horwich and Blackrod and sits on the council’s planning committee — said: “I would urge local residents to go to the open day next Thursday and find out more about the planned development.

“As a local councillor, I’m eager to hear the views of residents in relation to this proposal.”

Her views were echoed by Cllr Ann Cunliffe, who also represents Horwich and Blackrod.

She said: “Clearly I am enthusiastic about plans which attract jobs and new facilities, however I need to look closely at the proposed site and how it would impact on the local area.”

Comments (18)

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9:20am Thu 8 Nov 12

oftbewildered2 says...

sounds good - nice to see a joint venture in the pipeline. Hope it succeeds, despie Cliff Morris' somewhat guarded comment
sounds good - nice to see a joint venture in the pipeline. Hope it succeeds, despie Cliff Morris' somewhat guarded comment oftbewildered2
  • Score: 0

9:44am Thu 8 Nov 12

Bendix says...

Probably because he can't claim any credit for it.
Probably because he can't claim any credit for it. Bendix
  • Score: 2

10:27am Thu 8 Nov 12

swager123 says...

How about spending £100 million on players !!!!
How about spending £100 million on players !!!! swager123
  • Score: 5

10:53am Thu 8 Nov 12

Charles EnZog says...

Cliff is just gutted because Middlebrook is getting Bigger and Better as the town centre is being but out to pasture !

Should have never let Bolton Wanderers leave the Town / Edge of Town.
Cliff is just gutted because Middlebrook is getting Bigger and Better as the town centre is being but out to pasture ! Should have never let Bolton Wanderers leave the Town / Edge of Town. Charles EnZog
  • Score: 7

11:04am Thu 8 Nov 12

stantheman133 says...

Can only be good for everyone team or town. Plus it must be good for the Horwich area as well.
Can only be good for everyone team or town. Plus it must be good for the Horwich area as well. stantheman133
  • Score: 2

11:04am Thu 8 Nov 12

stantheman133 says...

Can only be good for everyone team or town. Plus it must be good for the Horwich area as well.
Can only be good for everyone team or town. Plus it must be good for the Horwich area as well. stantheman133
  • Score: 0

11:17am Thu 8 Nov 12

iPryers says...

Amazing how ignorant some Bolton fans are demanding squad investment is required rather than a project that could potentially create jobs for local people. This is a proposal from Burndan Leisure and although Wanderers is owned by them, Bolton Wanderers should fund itself through shirt sales and ticket sales, if you want player investment I suggest you fill the stadium on a regular basis and not selectively.
Amazing how ignorant some Bolton fans are demanding squad investment is required rather than a project that could potentially create jobs for local people. This is a proposal from Burndan Leisure and although Wanderers is owned by them, Bolton Wanderers should fund itself through shirt sales and ticket sales, if you want player investment I suggest you fill the stadium on a regular basis and not selectively. iPryers
  • Score: 2

11:37am Thu 8 Nov 12

William2701 says...

iPryers wrote:
Amazing how ignorant some Bolton fans are demanding squad investment is required rather than a project that could potentially create jobs for local people. This is a proposal from Burndan Leisure and although Wanderers is owned by them, Bolton Wanderers should fund itself through shirt sales and ticket sales, if you want player investment I suggest you fill the stadium on a regular basis and not selectively.
Burnden Leisure only own BWFC, without BWFC and the stadium the company would not exist. BWFC/ Burnden are reported to be millions of pounds in debt so where is the money coming from to fund this development?
[quote][p][bold]iPryers[/bold] wrote: Amazing how ignorant some Bolton fans are demanding squad investment is required rather than a project that could potentially create jobs for local people. This is a proposal from Burndan Leisure and although Wanderers is owned by them, Bolton Wanderers should fund itself through shirt sales and ticket sales, if you want player investment I suggest you fill the stadium on a regular basis and not selectively.[/p][/quote]Burnden Leisure only own BWFC, without BWFC and the stadium the company would not exist. BWFC/ Burnden are reported to be millions of pounds in debt so where is the money coming from to fund this development? William2701
  • Score: 1

11:38am Thu 8 Nov 12

Bigmalc1959 says...

Brilliant idea!all part the master plan to bring in young British players! Well done Mr Gartside and the Board....(foresight!
)
Brilliant idea!all part the master plan to bring in young British players! Well done Mr Gartside and the Board....(foresight! ) Bigmalc1959
  • Score: 1

12:13pm Thu 8 Nov 12

BWFC71 says...

Morris is only upset as because he had nothing to do with it and the plans actually bring investment to the area instead of letting the town run down so that Manchester can take us over!!!

Plans look good and hope it works oiut, bnut with regards to office space there are plenty empty at the moment due to the recession so its definitely fingers crossed - plus as a knock on effect that will help teh team in the future to bring in new young BRITISH players whether in The Championship or Premier League.

Finally to one who mentioned the debt. The club is currently only 110 million in the red and hot hundreds of millions!!! Plus only 10 million of the debt is owed to the banks, the rest is owed to Eddie Davies - owner of Burnden Leisure, and will no doubt continue to write off certain amount of debt each season like he does now!!! PLus the amount fo security that Burnden Leisure currently has is at least 2.5 times better than what we owe!!!
Morris is only upset as because he had nothing to do with it and the plans actually bring investment to the area instead of letting the town run down so that Manchester can take us over!!! Plans look good and hope it works oiut, bnut with regards to office space there are plenty empty at the moment due to the recession so its definitely fingers crossed - plus as a knock on effect that will help teh team in the future to bring in new young BRITISH players whether in The Championship or Premier League. Finally to one who mentioned the debt. The club is currently only 110 million in the red and hot hundreds of millions!!! Plus only 10 million of the debt is owed to the banks, the rest is owed to Eddie Davies - owner of Burnden Leisure, and will no doubt continue to write off certain amount of debt each season like he does now!!! PLus the amount fo security that Burnden Leisure currently has is at least 2.5 times better than what we owe!!! BWFC71
  • Score: 1

12:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Rememberscarborough says...

I think this is recognition that BWFC can't go on relying on Eddie Davies to bankroll our club. They are looking at ways to strengthen the club financially and build for a future without Eddie. Good luck to them but I have a horrible feeling we haven't heard the last of Cllr Morris' "input" regarding the future of this project.
I think this is recognition that BWFC can't go on relying on Eddie Davies to bankroll our club. They are looking at ways to strengthen the club financially and build for a future without Eddie. Good luck to them but I have a horrible feeling we haven't heard the last of Cllr Morris' "input" regarding the future of this project. Rememberscarborough
  • Score: 2

12:20pm Thu 8 Nov 12

gene watts says...

no wonder bolton is dying this shouldent be come on bolton council step in if they have that much money to waste make them build in bolton ABOUT TIME BOLTON COUNCILORS GOT A BACK BONE AND SAY NO TO THESE PLANS GIVE US BOLTON BACK OR GET OFF COUNCIL
no wonder bolton is dying this shouldent be come on bolton council step in if they have that much money to waste make them build in bolton ABOUT TIME BOLTON COUNCILORS GOT A BACK BONE AND SAY NO TO THESE PLANS GIVE US BOLTON BACK OR GET OFF COUNCIL gene watts
  • Score: -2

12:38pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Mounts says...

Love the code name operation middle brook wonder which brain box thought that one up was it Phil numpty Gartside?
Love the code name operation middle brook wonder which brain box thought that one up was it Phil numpty Gartside? Mounts
  • Score: 1

4:00pm Thu 8 Nov 12

wild one says...

My post has been pulled lol, wonder if the fat controller morris had anything to do with it ...
My post has been pulled lol, wonder if the fat controller morris had anything to do with it ... wild one
  • Score: -1

4:11pm Thu 8 Nov 12

macauley says...

i would say pay money out for players to get the club back in the top flight,you got rid of useless coyle but after what i saw on tuesday night we are know better because the team is weak.
i would say pay money out for players to get the club back in the top flight,you got rid of useless coyle but after what i saw on tuesday night we are know better because the team is weak. macauley
  • Score: -3

6:38pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Horwich Observer says...

All sounds very exciting, especially if it creates jobs.

I still say the roads in and out of Middlebrook need improving with the new additional buildings on the site.
All sounds very exciting, especially if it creates jobs. I still say the roads in and out of Middlebrook need improving with the new additional buildings on the site. Horwich Observer
  • Score: -3

8:25pm Thu 8 Nov 12

I Burrow says...

Ideas look good. Do they include a swimming pool . Unsure why more office buildings need to be so close to stadium ? Junction 7 required ? let's hope similar money is available to regenerate Bolton Town Centre or have the powers that be given up ? Perhaps we could move The Town Hall building upto the Reebok / Middlebrook. The Crescent would add character around the stadium !
Ideas look good. Do they include a swimming pool . Unsure why more office buildings need to be so close to stadium ? Junction 7 required ? let's hope similar money is available to regenerate Bolton Town Centre or have the powers that be given up ? Perhaps we could move The Town Hall building upto the Reebok / Middlebrook. The Crescent would add character around the stadium ! I Burrow
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Bendix says...

And while we are at it lets move Morris to Outer Mongolia where his impressive leadership, governance and financial skills can be used to great effects. It is a poverty stricken place so it can only go one way Cliff, even worse.
And while we are at it lets move Morris to Outer Mongolia where his impressive leadership, governance and financial skills can be used to great effects. It is a poverty stricken place so it can only go one way Cliff, even worse. Bendix
  • Score: 0

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