WORK has started on Bolton’s new specialist town centre shopping complex.

Builders have moved into the former Bow Street car park site which is set to be transformed into The Link — a centre for bespoke, local and individual businesses as well as a hotel and leisure space.

And the developers behind the scheme, Spice Valley bosses Subhash and Geeta Kotecha and business partner Farhad Azimy are encouraging any budding entrepreneurs to get in touch about launching new ventures or expanding existing businesses at the site.

The first phase of the project at the site will involve structural works and work to convert the outside of the building.

But at the same time the inside of the former car park will be being converted and the developers believe they could be inviting perspective businesses to set up shop as early as May.

Mr Azimy said: “We want people to get in touch with us now with their ideas.

“We already have businesses signed up and we have all sorts of support to help with the process. If people speak with us now they could be setting up units by the Spring.”

The core principle of The Link is to provide a space for a wide range of local, individual businesses to set up in an environment in which they can thrive.

Mr Kotecha said: “We are both from Bolton, we built our lives here and we want to create something that is good for Bolton and brings people into the town centre.”

Once complete, The Link will provide a free car park for customers underneath the building, with an emporium style floor of individual businesses opening on the ground floor.

It is envisaged that the first floor will have an array of food and drink purveyors, with cuisines from across the world represented.

The upper floors will involve some form of leisure space, with plans for an apart-hotel complex above.

Mr Azimy said: “The main ethos is that this is a Bolton venture, run by local people and for local people — we are not distant developers, if people want to be involved it will be us they will deal with directly.”

They said ‘incredibly attractive’ deals on rents will be offered to aspiring business people to give everyone a chance to launch in Bolton town centre.

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