AMBITIOUS plans have been unveiled for the expansion of Bolton’s luxury student accommodation building.

Bosses from The Pack Horse in Nelson Square hope the proposals could act as “a catalyst” for town centre growth.

The landmark former hotel in Nelson Square was re-opened last September as 100 luxury student flats following a £4 million redevelopment project.

Now, fresh proposals will see two closed bars next to the site — Coyote Chaos and Lounge 10 — converted into new flats and a coffee shop which will be open to the general public.

The £750,000 plans have been submitted by Westhoughton-based firm Hamilton Black Developments and also include a new “courtyard” set-up inside the grounds and the addition of 25 new student flats.

Lyndon Forshaw, partner at Hamilton Black, said: “We’re going to create a courtyard, demolishing part of the building and taking it back to the way it originally looked.

“We aim to have everything ready for this summer in time for the start of the new term.”

The original project hit a snag only weeks before it was due to open after the main contractor went out of business, but despite the setback developers said the accommodation had proven hugely popular.

Mr Forshaw said: “Since we opened we’ve had a great response.

“Because of the issues we had trying to get it finished on time we lost a few students on the back of that, but the vast majority of them came with us.”

Nelson Square and Bradshawgate have become home to a number of bars and restaurants and Mr Forshaw is optimistic the student pound can continue to provide a boost for traders.

He said: “I think it could be a catalyst.”

The proposals come just weeks after Bolton’s top police officer, Ch Supt David Hull, called for more to be done to attract families into the town centre to end its “unsafe image”.