THE development of the Crompton Place shopping centre, up to £70m of investment in Bolton and Farnworth town centres and improvements to three other shopping destinations are the goal of regeneration chiefs for Bolton in 2021.

The current shopping complex is set to be cleared to make way for a new £250m shopping, housing and leisure complex, with council leader David Greenhalgh saying, ‘we deserve this project for our town’.

Agreements have already been made with 66 of the 72 leaseholders or owners in the current centre to relocate or be compensated and arrangements have been made to compulsory purchase the remainder if needed.

Other boosts for the town centre include the borough’s bid from the Towns Fund with the council leader saying he will be ‘very, very surprised’ if the application is not successful.

The fund intends to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long-term economic growth.

If it can convince government of the scheme’s value for money, the borough could have up to £25m allocated to it which will need to be spent by the end of March 2026. Among the schemes which have been put forward in the plan are for The Wellness Centre to have a high-end spa and leisure facility next to the Le Mans hotel.

Cllr Martyn Cox, regeneration cabinet member for Bolton Council, said: “We’ve got three bids in with central government and if those are successful then we’re talking around £70m of investment.

“Next year will be a year of activity in Bolton town centre and Farnworth plus the other district centres, Horwich, Westhoughton and Little Lever.

“We have got this hurdle of Covid to get over but once we do get over it there’s an awful lot of activity planned not just in the town centres but district centres as well.”