AMBITIOUS plans for ‘city centre’ style office space to attract professionals to Bolton have been revealed as town hall chiefs bid for £36m of Government cash.

The bid is part of a vision to reposition Bolton as an attractive alternative to Manchester city centre for both tourists and businesses ­— capitalising on its cultural scene, heritage, transport links and its surrounding areas of outstanding beauty.

Bolton Council, with the support of MPs, has submitted two bids to the first round of the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ fund ­— to support areas traditionally left behind when it comes to investment.

And if successful, £16.2m bid would go towards the transformation of the Crompton Place Shopping Centre site.

Bolton with its transport links is working to reposition itself as an alternative to the city centre.

The cash would be used towards the demolition and redevelopment of the west side of the building ­— creating new employment space, which say town hall leaders, would bring professionals and greater footfall into the town centre.

A second bid is for a 20m contribution towards the building of the long-awaited Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS).

Developed on brownfield land, BCMS is projected to create over 20,000 apprenticeships over its lifetime and help train 60,000 medical professionals.

The project is led by the University of Bolton alongside the council, Bolton College and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

Bolton’s two bids are supported by local MPs Mark Logan and Yasmin Qureshi.

Cllr Martyn Cox, the borough council's deputy leader, said: “These bids highlight the council’s priorities and vison for the borough, bringing leading employers into the town centre and training new generations of health professionals.

“If successful they will bring new jobs into the area and boost our local economy by creating additional demand for retail, hospitality and leisure services. Bolton has already successfully bid for grants from both the Towns Fund and the Future High Streets Fund. We will continue to take every opportunity to secure additional funding for projects across the borough. “We are now reviewing a number of exciting projects with a view to submitting more bids for the next round of the Levelling Up Fund.”

A decision on successful first round funding bids the bids is expected in September this year.

The £250m redevelopment of Crompton Place Shopping Centre is expected to towards the end of 2021. Plans also include a hotel on the site.

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