FRESH negotiations to relocate the last remaining stores and get the multi-million pound development of Crompton Place Shopping Centre site back on track get underway this month.

The site is earmarked to be transformed into a state-of-the-art retail and leisure complex and forms a key part of the town centre masterplan.

Bolton Council leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said it will be ‘full steam ahead’ on the plans – subject to negotiations reaching a satisfactory agreement.

And plans for redeveloping Crompton Place into the complex will be implemented as soon as the local authority is able to relocate remaining tenants and secure vacant possession of the centre.

Cllr Cox said: “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.”

The redevelopment of Crompton Place will see the current shopping centre demolished, with 46 new retail units created, a 300-space car park, offices and more than 180 homes ­— with a new developer set to be announced in the near future after changing circumstances led the council to reach a mutual agreement with previous developers to surrender options agreements on the redevelopment scheme.

The centre site also missed out on funding from the Government’s levelling up bid, but as reported previously in The Bolton News, Town Hall chiefs have not ruled out submitting a new bid this year.

TSB bank is the latest name to relocate from Crompton Place with the support of local authority, by moving into new premises in Deansgate.

The branch joins the Specsavers, Clothing store Blue Inc and renowned Jewellers Beaverbrooks in relocating from the shopping centre.

Council officials say relocating businesses from Crompton Place to empty retail units elsewhere in the town centre is part of a plan to reduce retail space in the town centre in anticipation of the increase in internet shopping, which has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic.

The vision is also to increase the number of town centre residents through property development.

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

Another project planned as part of the town centre masterplan is the Church Wharf scheme, a multi-million-pound scheme which will provide new homes and a small amount of commercial space, to transform an underused piece of land into a thriving town centre neighbourhood.

The regeneration of Croal Valley is, say council chiefs, set to create a desirable location by improving the riverside public realm and creating a mix of apartments, houses and green spaces.

Bolton Council has agreed to invest £100m to encourage new private sector investment in Bolton and four other district town centres across the borough. This commitment towards redevelopment will transform these town centres, say borough council chiefs.