COUNCIL bosses say they still committed to reducing retail space and giving a fresh dimension to a landmark Bolton town centre site.

Borough leaders may have missed out on a 'levelling up' funding for Crompton Place, amid wrangling over late e-mail submissions to Whitehall.

But town hall chiefs say the fact new homes have been found for four principal shopping centre tenants - TSB, Specsavers, Blue Inc and jewellers Beaverbrooks - shows their town centre strategy is still in play.

TSB is set to open a new branch on Deansgate, Specsavers moved across Victoria Square, and Blue Inc and Beaverbrooks relocated to Market Place.

Council officials insist these switches "anticipated the increase in internet shopping, which has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic and also involves increasing the number of town centre residents through the provision of new residential developments"

The planned regeneration of Church Wharf is being cited as one example, with a revived Croal Valley set to offer riverside housing and green spaces.

Land has been cleared on Central Street, including the demolition of the old Blue Boar pub and neighbouring sites like Sweetens book shop, for yet more accommodation.

And blueprints have been drawn up for apartments and a square on the site of the former Moor Lane bus station..

Plans for Crompton Place still promise a new 'state-of-the-art' retail and leisure complex, once the authority can secure vacant possession of the centre.

Council leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: "Bolton Council is delighted these well-known retail names have shown confidence in Bolton by investing in new town centre sites.

“As the plans for Crompton Place are being developed, we are always keen to work closely with our tenants to keep them in Bolton by finding a solution that works for everyone and continues to provide valuable services to Bolton residents.

“It also means that we are able to repurpose, and bring back into use, some fantastic retail sites elsewhere in the town centre.”

Similar commitments have been made for Farnworth, Horwich and Westhoughton.