LOVE it or loathe it, Crompton Place has been a huge part of Bolton for years.

Yesterday Bolton Council agreed plans to knock down the building in Victoria Square and replace it with a 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes, 10,500 square-feet of office space, and a mixed-use retail, eisure, dining and events space, dubbed “Bolton Works”, designed to accommodate independent retailers and food operators and also includes incubator space for small business start-ups.

READ MORE: Crompton Place demolition to start in six months as major town centre plans pass

Work could start on the project within just six months.

And news of this major redevelopment prompted us to look back into the archives at how the site has changed over the years.

And we've found these 10 pictures which tell the long history of the site from inception to proposed demolition.

The Bolton News:

This picture of Bowker's Row was taken in 1960. It was one of the many town centre streets demolished to make way for the Arndale Centre, which went on to become the Crompton Place we know today.

Part of the street still exists but it looks nothing like this shot taken by The Bolton News in October 1960.

The Bolton News:

This shot was taken back in 1974 and shows Hotel Street. Crompton Place is on the left. 

The Bolton News:

This image, also of Hotel Street, was taken in 1970. You can clearly see Crompton Place on the left and Marks & Spencer's on the right.

Do you remember window shopping back in those days?

The Bolton News:

Bolton has become something of a mecca for filming in recent years. Hit shows like Netflix's The Stranger and BBC's Peaky Blinders have all given starring roles to Bolton's landmarks.

But do you remember when Max and Paddy filmed at Crompton Place in 2004?  Bolton funny-men Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness posed for this photo taken by The Bolton News during a break in filming.

The Bolton News:

In recent years, Crompton Place has had mixed fortunes as high street shopping centres across the country contended with changing consumer habits. But Primark, in particular, has kept the place going and the store always proves to be among the most popular in the town.

The Bolton News:

But sadly, all to often Crompton Place has struggled with empty retail units in recent years. The council's new plan for the site seeks to recitfy that problem and the over reliance on retail. 

Talks are underway to relocate retailers currently based in Crompton Place, including Boots and Primark, elsewhere in Bolton while work takes place.

The news plan includes a 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes, 10,500 square metres of office space, and a mixed-use retail, leisure, dining and events space, dubbed “Bolton Works”, designed to accommodate independent retailers and food operators and also includes incubator space for small business start-ups.

It also promises to provide a predominantly pedestrianised environment with a new walkway connecting Bradshawgate to Victoria Square for the first time.

The Bolton News:

But for all its troubles, Crompton Place can still pull in the punters. This picture was taken just a few weeks ago when shops began reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic and shows queues of shoppers waiting to get in.

The Bolton News:

And finally, this serries of artist impressions show what the site could look like in the future. This image taken from the side of the Bolton Council site, close to The Bolton News offices, shows Victoria Square in all its splendour.

The Bolton News:

This impression shows what the centre itself will look like.

Bolton Council’s deputy leader Martyn Cox said: “These plans will create a destination which combine town centre living, retail and leisure in a top quality environment.

“It means new homes, new jobs, and new businesses coming to Bolton.

“As the high street continues to face challenges particularly from the coronavirus pandemic, this is a really significant development.”

The Bolton News:

Here's the development from above. 

The Bolton News:

And last but not least, another bird's eye view of what the site looks like now. We certainly think it's an improvement but what do you think?