DEMOLITION of Crompton Place is set to start late next year.

The shopping centre is set to be cleared in 2021 to make way for a new £250 million shopping housing and leisure complex.

Work was due to begin in January, although a cabinet meeting of Bolton Council in October heard the start date had been pushed back to March.

Now, developers Bolton Regeneration Ltd have confirmed work is due to begin in late 2021.

Steven Turner, director of the firm, said: “BRL is working very hard to safeguard the delivery of the development and to ensure the new development will transform Bolton town centre.

“We are confident the scheme will stimulate significant economic growth across the borough and become a destination the entire community can be proud of.”

At the October meeting, councillors were told that any further delays, largely caused by the coronavirus pandemic, would push the project back five months due to the nesting season for kestrels living in the town hall.

Gerry Brough, Bolton’s director of place, told the cabinet that the timing of demolition depended on getting vacant possession of the site – with lockdown plunging major retailers like Primark and Boots into a period of uncertainty, encouraging them to stay in the centre longer than they may have originally wanted to.

Developers have told traders in the centre they should be able to continue operating at the site until next November.

In a December update, BRL, a joint venture between Beijing Construction Engineering Group International and Granite Turner (formerly known as Midia), said demolition had been sceduled for quarter four of 2021.

The initial phase is set to see more than £70m directly injected into Bolton's economy, with around 240 jobs created.

When the scheme, known as Bolton Victoria Square, is finished, more than 1,300 jobs are expected to be available for local people.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, Leader of Bolton Council, added: “A redeveloped Crompton Place will be the centrepiece of the £1.2bn transformation of Bolton town centre.

“Despite the challenging economic climate, this progress shows that investors have confidence in our vision to make the town centre a great place to visit, work and live.

“This announcement also gives much needed certainty to the many excellent traders in Crompton Place and we continue to work with them to help find alternative sites.”

Visit for more information on the scheme and to see a more in-depth update.