THE town centre masterplan has been well received by councillors across all parties in Bolton.

Council leader Linda Thomas told the cabinet at Monday's meeting that the progress made has been “absolutely remarkable” and spoke of a renewed confidence in Bolton.

The updated figures, which were revealed at a cabinet meeting on Monday, have been welcomed by all parties.

Conservative leader David Greenhalgh said the masterplan is “hugely welcome” and has cross-party support.

He was joined by Liberal Democrat leader Roger Hayes who said he is “very, very happy” with the plan.

Cllr Greenhalgh said: “We have been wanting a masterplan for the town, something which we can all get behind.”

Cllr Hayes added: “The main thrust of this is supported by all groups – it’s probably the most coherent plan. We have always said we need to reduce the retail footprint to an extent and improve the residential sector.”

UKIP leader Sean Hornby said the masterplan puts Bolton in a positive light.

He said: “The thing I like about it is that originally, from the £100m investment we’d only get £1bn. Now it’s £1.2bn.”

Labour councillor Anna-Marie Watters was pleased to see the update and the impact the council’s vision is having.

She praised council staff for their efforts in securing the £100m loan.

She said: “Let’s be really, really clear about this £100m. We have gone out and borrowed that money on behalf of the council to put that money into place.

“We have been quite bold and took that step to go out and get that money. That’s what’s built this vision and brought these investments to Bolton.”

Fellow Westhoughton councillor David Chadwick told the cabinet that the high number of housing in the town centre is good news for the green belt.

He said: “One of the things people don’t cotton on to is that we are looking at 2,000 dwellings in Bolton town centre which immediately relieves the pressure on the green belt.”

Cllr Chadwick said the council is often criticised for neglecting townships and being too “Bolton-centric”, but this plan will benefit other parts of the borough too.

A total of £12m from this fund will also be available for townships in the borough.

Farnworth and Kearsley First councillor Paul Sanders attended the meeting but did not speak as the conversation was focused on Bolton.

He was contacted after the meeting but chose not to comment.