MAJOR plans are about to be put forward which could lead to Bolton hosting one of the world’s biggest sporting events — golf’s Ryder Cup.

The Bolton News understands that developer the Peel Group is soon to unveil proposals to build a new world-class, 18-hole golf course on the Hulton Park Estate near Westhoughton — with a view to inviting the world’s best golfers to compete in the famous team event in 2026.

It is believed that a potential £100 million plus project could also involve a new hotel, clubhouse and conference facilities being built on the sprawling 1,000 acre estate between Chequerbent, Over Hulton and Atherton which is owned by Peel. Company officials unveiled the preliminary proposals to councillors last month and it is understood that more detailed plans will be brought forward and consulted on in the coming months.

The company has so far refused to make any public comment on the matter but town hall sources suggest that Peel are ‘very serious’ about bidding to host the Ryder Cup in Bolton.

The competition is one of the most popular sporting events on the planet, watched by millions across the world.

It is held every two years and sees 24 of the best golfers from Europe and the United States go head-to-head in match play competition.

The venue for the contest alternates every two years between courses in the United States and Europe.

Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris did not want to be drawn on the specifics of any forthcoming plans, but said a development of this stature would undoubtedly be good for the town.

He said: “As with all plans, we will have to look carefully at all aspects of any application that is put forward and whether it is good for Bolton.

“There are lots of things to look at and to make sure we get right and we will do that with any application.

“But if it is the level of investment being suggested then we have to welcome that.

“A leisure facility of this scale would create jobs in the area and be good for Bolton and for Greater Manchester.”

Peel acquired the 1,000 acre Hulton Park Estate in 2010 for an undisclosed fee, after it had been on the market for £8.5 million.

Prior to this it had been in the hands of the Hulton family since at least 1167.

The land, close to junction 5 of the M61, comprises 713 acres of park and agricultural land, 211 acres of woodland and lakes and has six farms and seven residential properties. It has previously been reported that a leisure scheme was being planned for the site, but up to now detailed development plans have emerged.

News of the ambitious golf course project will be met with excitement by some and disbelief by others.

Local businessman Andrew Dickson is a shareholder at the Regent Golf Course in Lostock and part of the marketing team at Bolton Golf Club.

He said: “If they can pull this off then it will be fantastic for Bolton, but I do think it is a little over-ambitious.

“Ryder Cup is the biggest event in world golf, it is huge and there are a lot of other courses in the country that would want it.

“It also takes a good four or five years for a new course to bed in, but if they make it a stunning course then it could work — good luck to them.”

Peel is also behind proposals to build 1,700 new houses close to the Hulton Park Estate on land at the Chequerbent roundabout.

The Bolton News revealed last month that the developer has put the project forward as part of a ‘call for sites’ issues by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority which is aiming to address a growing need for housing in the region.

However, there is nothing to suggest at this stage that the housing scheme and the golf course proposals are linked.

Bolton West MP Chris Green has launched a petition against the housing plans — but said the Ryder Cup vision was ‘exciting’.

He added: “The idea of Bolton hosting an event as big as the Ryder Cup is very positive and would be fantastic for our town — it would put Bolton on the map.

“But of course there will also be concerns of how any development of this scale will impact on the local area in terms of infrastructure.

“I look forward to seeing the full details in the future.”

If the Hulton Park plans come to fruition, they will add to Peel’s property portfolio which includes the MediaCity UK and the Liverpool and Wirral Waters regeneration schemes.

History of the Hulton Park Estate 

The Bolton News:

The former Hulton Hall family home

THE thousand acre Hulton Park Estate was in the hands of the Hulton family from at least 1167.
However, it is believed that the family’s links with the land could stretch back as far as 989.
The estate was passed to Jersey-based Hugh Butterfield, who inherited it from the last of the Hulton family, Sir Geoffrey Hulton, in 1993.
The sprawling estate, between Chequerbent, Over Hulton and Atherton was then bought for an undisclosed sum by The Peel Group in 2010.
The estate, which at the time generated an annual income of around £150,000, had been put on the market with a price tag of around £8.5 million.
The site comprises of 713 acres of park and agricultural land and 211 acres of woodland and lakes — as well as six farms and seven residential properties.
The estate also includes the site of the former Hulton Hall which was demolished in 1958 and used to accommodate Scout camps until vandalism forced them to move. 
Before it was sold, The Hulton estate was reputed to be the longest uninterrupted occupation of any UK estate.
It is also the site of the Pretoria Pit disaster of 1910, where 344 men and boys died after an underground explosion occurred at what was then known as the Hulton Bank Colliery Number 3 Pit.