EYECARE specialists Specsavers are preparing to move out of Crompton Place Shopping Centre, which is set to be demolished under £250million redevelopment plans.

The opticians are to relocate nearby into the Victoria Plaza complex in Victoria Square, according to a Bolton Council report.

The plaza has a number of units empty, including the former Costa Coffee branch.

The coffee chain was based there until 2018 when rental negotiations broke down with landlords.

Talks are now under way with other retailers currently based in the shopping centre, including Boots and Primark, to find them alternative premises while work takes place.

The council has been working with the eyecare chain to relocate it into Victoria Plaza. No date has been set for the move.

Cllr Martyn Cox, deputy leader, said: “Specsavers are one of the first businesses to be relocated as part of the regeneration of Crompton Place Shopping Centre.

“This is a clear sign that Bolton Council’s objectives for development have begun.” The redevelopment of Crompton Place shopping centre is said to be an important piece of the "town centre jigsaw”.

Planning permission was granted on July 9 to demolish Crompton Place, beginning with the part of the shopping centre which faces Victoria Square, before moving to the Bradshawgate side.

Plans for the site include an 110-bedroom hotel, 150 homes, office space and a mixed-use retail, leisure, dining and events space, dubbed “Bolton Works”, designed for independent retailers and food operators, and a dedicated 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 work lies at the heart of the council’s £1.5bn town centre masterplan.

In recent years, Crompton Place has had mixed fortunes as high street shopping centres across the country contended with changing consumer habits.

But for all its troubles, Crompton Place can still pull in the shoppers. For when shops began reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic queues of shoppers were waiting to get in.