Pictured: inside the vaults under the Market Place shopping centre

One of the vaults at Bolton’s Market Place

The vaults

An artist’s impression of what the vaults will look like

How it could look inside the Market Place

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

THE transformation of Bolton’s Market Place by creating a subterranean complex of restaurants and bars as well as a nine-screen cinema has begun.

Owner Moorgarth has started the £15 million conversion and promised that the shopping centre it acquired in October will remain open until it is complete — by Easter 2015.

Moorgarth chief executive Tim Vaughan unveiled one of the vaults at a special presentation yesterday, together with ambitious plans to create a “cut” into the basement area with two escalators transporting visitors into the underground eatery and bar zone.

A listed building application will be considered by Bolton’s planning committee on May 1, when Mr Vaughan is hoping the final obstacle to the work going ahead will be removed.

He said plans were conceived when Bolton was identified as “massively under-serviced in retail, food and drink” shortly before Moorgarth bought the Market Place for £24 million. Mr Vaughan said: “It was one of the few towns in the UK which did not have a town centre cinema.

“It is a top-100 town with a population of 250,000 and has potential to be a major growth area in Greater Manchester.

“Bolton has had a difficult time since 2008 because people have gone and shopped elsewhere. Our aim is to get people into the habit of coming back into the town centre.

“The vaults are going to have quite a European feel. It will feel like you’re sitting outside, but you will be inside.”

Although the cinema would not open before Easter next year, Moorgarth is aiming for the vault areas to be ready much sooner.

Mr Vaughan said: “With a facility like those vaults, it would have been madness not to use it. English Heritage, who we approached along with Bolton Council’s conservation officers about the idea, loved the idea of bringing the vaults back into public view. This was used for storage for 150 years, which was crazy.” Included in the plans for the Market Place is an area for live music, a children’s play zone and there will also be art exhibitions and fashion events.

Mr Vaughan said there was a long list of major retailers who were waiting to see what Moorgarth would do to the development.

He added: “The key thing we’ve got to do is to create a destination where there is constant activity on the site.

“If it’s raining on a Sunday, we want people to think ‘we’ll go and see what’s going on at the Market Place’.”

Work to reconfigure the shopping centre has started and will continue while it is open. Mr Vaughan said any work involving vibration and noise would take place at night.

Comments (7)

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10:55am Tue 8 Apr 14

Regulatory Man says...

It didn't have a town centre cinema because the people of Bolton stopped going to the two that were previously here, Odeon and ABC years ago - Due to costs. Then the council approved their demolition and or application for re-use as something else and only the outer edge town cinemas like those at the Reebok took their place.

Once the novelty value has gone Moorgate will see the people of Bolton needed more than a multiplex cinema in 'THEIR' market hall.

But by then the people responsible will no doubt have had their pay day and like everything else the town will be left to pick up the pieces.

Cynic I may well be but you've had years of feeding me the evidence to make me cynical Bolton Council and developers.
It didn't have a town centre cinema because the people of Bolton stopped going to the two that were previously here, Odeon and ABC years ago - Due to costs. Then the council approved their demolition and or application for re-use as something else and only the outer edge town cinemas like those at the Reebok took their place. Once the novelty value has gone Moorgate will see the people of Bolton needed more than a multiplex cinema in 'THEIR' market hall. But by then the people responsible will no doubt have had their pay day and like everything else the town will be left to pick up the pieces. Cynic I may well be but you've had years of feeding me the evidence to make me cynical Bolton Council and developers. Regulatory Man
  • Score: 4

11:17am Tue 8 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

Major retailers are waiting are they : ). Not a chance getting any of those in Bolton, the ones we had have all moved out because Bolton is not a Town in recession its a Town in decline & a poor Town also.
Major retailers are waiting are they : ). Not a chance getting any of those in Bolton, the ones we had have all moved out because Bolton is not a Town in recession its a Town in decline & a poor Town also. thomas222
  • Score: 4

5:05pm Tue 8 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

Thomas,

the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in.

Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!!

Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com
/

Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.
Thomas, the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in. Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!! Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com / Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall. The Righteous One
  • Score: 6

9:05pm Tue 8 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
Thomas,

the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in.

Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!!

Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com

/

Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.
Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this?
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: Thomas, the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in. Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!! Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com / Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.[/p][/quote]Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this? thomas222
  • Score: -1

9:59am Wed 9 Apr 14

The Righteous One says...

thomas222 wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
Thomas,

the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in.

Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!!

Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com


/

Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.
Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this?
It is "not in the future" as you put it.

Moorgarth already own the complex

Moorgarth has already started the refurbishment

Moorgarth has already implemented the free parking for first 90 minutes

Moorgarth has already started advertising and talking to companies to let the empty retail units

Moorgarth has already got an operator for the cinema!

So its all taking shape now and be completed in 12 months and during the refurbishment the current retailers will not be affected!

And if you had looked at their website, and other independent websites of the other sites they do own, which I am presuming that you didn't otherwise you wouldn't have posted what you did, then you will know that they do know what they are doing and do know what will and will not work as their other complexes are huge success without any failures!!!

As for me putting my money forward, if I could I would, but as Moorgarth is already a business in its own right that has private shareholders/investo
rs and, not on the stock market, therefore I cannot put money into it, unfortunately!
[quote][p][bold]thomas222[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: Thomas, the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in. Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!! Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com / Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.[/p][/quote]Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this?[/p][/quote]It is "not in the future" as you put it. Moorgarth already own the complex Moorgarth has already started the refurbishment Moorgarth has already implemented the free parking for first 90 minutes Moorgarth has already started advertising and talking to companies to let the empty retail units Moorgarth has already got an operator for the cinema! So its all taking shape now and be completed in 12 months and during the refurbishment the current retailers will not be affected! And if you had looked at their website, and other independent websites of the other sites they do own, which I am presuming that you didn't otherwise you wouldn't have posted what you did, then you will know that they do know what they are doing and do know what will and will not work as their other complexes are huge success without any failures!!! As for me putting my money forward, if I could I would, but as Moorgarth is already a business in its own right that has private shareholders/investo rs and, not on the stock market, therefore I cannot put money into it, unfortunately! The Righteous One
  • Score: 0

10:48am Wed 9 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

The Righteous One wrote:
thomas222 wrote:
The Righteous One wrote:
Thomas,

the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in.

Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!!

Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com



/

Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.
Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this?
It is "not in the future" as you put it.

Moorgarth already own the complex

Moorgarth has already started the refurbishment

Moorgarth has already implemented the free parking for first 90 minutes

Moorgarth has already started advertising and talking to companies to let the empty retail units

Moorgarth has already got an operator for the cinema!

So its all taking shape now and be completed in 12 months and during the refurbishment the current retailers will not be affected!

And if you had looked at their website, and other independent websites of the other sites they do own, which I am presuming that you didn't otherwise you wouldn't have posted what you did, then you will know that they do know what they are doing and do know what will and will not work as their other complexes are huge success without any failures!!!

As for me putting my money forward, if I could I would, but as Moorgarth is already a business in its own right that has private shareholders/investo

rs and, not on the stock market, therefore I cannot put money into it, unfortunately!
Flogging a dead horse with this. New big major retail..... how many have they got signed up is none. Big company,s sign up off the plans with any new development they think will be a good location to get into it before they all get rented out to others. Bolton will never again attract quality shops to the Town center as they know its not viable to trade here. Free parking 90 mins great. I can get free all day at waters meeting & i dont have to dodge scroates, pickpockets, beggers & drunks getting into the eaterys or the cinema.
[quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]thomas222[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Righteous One[/bold] wrote: Thomas, the stores left The Market Place for 2 simple reasons. Footfall had fallen due to the recession and the company that owned the Shopping Centre had gone into administration and it was the administrators that was running the place until thy could find a buyer - but during that period there were no incentives being created to keep the companies or even bring new ones in. Now it is owned by Moorgarth it is in relatively safe hands - relatively because no one ever knows what is going to happen in the future. Moorgarth have already started to make improvements to the centre to build up the footfall such as the announcement of the cinema and opening up the vaults for cafe's and restaurants which will help not only during the daytime but also the more important evening economy. Also, from what I have heard and seen, they are now also promoting the Shopping Centre to prospective new retailers to start filling up the many empty retail units - the problem cannot be resolved overnight and shops open the next morning as it will take time to refill and do the improvements and believe that Easter 2015 is a realistic period before the changes can actually be seen. One major improvement is the free parking for the first 90 minutes!!! Moorgarth are spending the money and will want to recoup their investment before even thinking about selling on - which is actually a common practice with the various property developers/holders. Also if you ant to see what Moorgarth has done to other shopping centres across the country then just visit their website - http://moorgarth.com / Lets not forget that Bolton Council is not involved with The Market Place and haven't been since the LibDem led Council signed off the sale of the Market Hall.[/p][/quote]Sorry but you do look into the future also.. lets not post on this subject untill 2 yrs from now... Its a white Elephant.... Would you put your Money up for this?[/p][/quote]It is "not in the future" as you put it. Moorgarth already own the complex Moorgarth has already started the refurbishment Moorgarth has already implemented the free parking for first 90 minutes Moorgarth has already started advertising and talking to companies to let the empty retail units Moorgarth has already got an operator for the cinema! So its all taking shape now and be completed in 12 months and during the refurbishment the current retailers will not be affected! And if you had looked at their website, and other independent websites of the other sites they do own, which I am presuming that you didn't otherwise you wouldn't have posted what you did, then you will know that they do know what they are doing and do know what will and will not work as their other complexes are huge success without any failures!!! As for me putting my money forward, if I could I would, but as Moorgarth is already a business in its own right that has private shareholders/investo rs and, not on the stock market, therefore I cannot put money into it, unfortunately![/p][/quote]Flogging a dead horse with this. New big major retail..... how many have they got signed up is none. Big company,s sign up off the plans with any new development they think will be a good location to get into it before they all get rented out to others. Bolton will never again attract quality shops to the Town center as they know its not viable to trade here. Free parking 90 mins great. I can get free all day at waters meeting & i dont have to dodge scroates, pickpockets, beggers & drunks getting into the eaterys or the cinema. thomas222
  • Score: -1

12:51pm Wed 9 Apr 14

steveb1234 says...

typical....

Someone is actually trying to improve the market place with something similar like the rock bury (which is doing really well) and people STILL complain
typical.... Someone is actually trying to improve the market place with something similar like the rock bury (which is doing really well) and people STILL complain steveb1234
  • Score: 6

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