THE stunning first images of a planned £1 billion transformation of Bolton town centre have been revealed.

The masterplan contains proposals to redevelop the town centre by creating 1,800 new homes, 7,400 new jobs and generating economic activity worth an additional £412 million over five key sites in the coming years.

Bolton Council announced initial details of the ambitious plan in July and the authority has since approved borrowing of £100 million to kickstart the project.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “This masterplan shows how forward thinking and ambitious this council really is. We now want to get to work as quickly as possible. We are already speaking to a number of developers and partners about delivering the different schemes outlined in the framework.

“Although it is ambitious we are confident that this is an achievable vision that identifies key areas of the town centre, and it will be a game-changer in terms of transforming the centre of Bolton.”

Under the plans, the Crompton Place shopping centre would be revamped with new restaurants overlooking Victoria Square.

Town hall bosses say that the plans are designed around the centre retaining its flagship stores, such as Primark and Marks and Spencer, while adding new features that would complement the Market Place Shopping Centre.

The town centre framework lists the Crompton Place development as taking place between 2020 and 2026, but adds that it ‘is likely to be dictated by practical considerations’.

The masterplan states that redesigning the centre's facade to Victoria Square 'will allow visitors to enjoy excellent views of Bolton’s principal square and engage with the numerous events that take place in it throughout the year'.

It adds: "The intervention could have a transformative effect in the way the town’s historic centre is used and enjoyed."

Two options for the redevelopment of Crompton Place are detailed in the framework, both of which would include extending Primark and introducing new leisure halls on the centre's upper floors.

The newly-revealed proposals also include a redeveloped 'Trinity Quarter', which will include a new multi-storey car park on the old Wayne Walker's meat store site, as well as new offices, housing, and hotels.

Demolition work at the vacant meat store, which has been purchased by the council, is scheduled for later this year.

Plans to transform the area around Shiffnall Street, Carlton Street, and Salop Street are expected to be the last to come to fruition in this blueprint, continuing 'well after 2033'.

The photos also show how the now-closed Moor Lane bus station site could be turned into houses and apartments.

Redevelopment of the site, which closed when the new Bolton Interchange opened earlier this month, is slated to take place in the first phase of the overall project — between 2018 and 2020.

The masterplan states: "The former bus station is seen as an opportunity to reinforce the image of the town’s historic fabric."

The University of Bolton also wants to build student housing around Cheadle Square, and there are also plans for a pedestrian route connecting the town hall with Queens Park.

Church Wharf would be designated a new town centre ‘quarter’ with a mix of apartments and town houses, as well as a new pedestrian route along the River Croal.

Plans were revealed earlier this year for 500 homes to be built in the area, stretching from Bank Street to the back of Bolton Parish Church.

The council wants to make the river an attractive feature of the town centre, and has plans for a series of 'pocket parks' along its path — which would lead towards Queens Park — as well as houses and flats to overlook it.

A total of 350 flats and 50 townhouses are suggested for the Croal Valley, in roads such as Central Street and King Street, while it is also proposed that the listed mill in St Helena Road could become a neighbourhood hub.

Cllr Morris added: “It is no secret that town centres across the country continue to face tough challenges.

"We are also realistic that the plan may need to change and adapt over the years to reflect changing economic conditions.

“What we do know is that without the council’s direct intervention, there is a risk that the necessary pace and scale of change that is required will simply not be achieved.

“This is not simply looking at one or two compact areas in isolation - it is joined up, strategic planning to transform the town centre for decades to come.

“It is part of the huge jigsaw in our town centre regeneration plan, which can be clearly seen already with the new Interchange, the improvements to Newport Street, our plan to revamp Oxford Street and Knowsley Street, and the support we have given to the fantastic improvements to the Market Place Shopping Centre, with the Vaults and the new cinema.”

The council's £100 million investment will be used for a range of priorities including getting sites ‘development ready', public realm improvements, and infrastructure.

The remainder of the £1 billion plan will be funded by private sector investors.

The masterplan is proposed to be formally adopted on Monday at a cabinet meeting.