A new £20m medical college in Bolton is a step closer after the council agreed to formally accept government funding and take responsibility for any overspend.

The Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) is a collaboration between the University of Bolton, Bolton College, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Council.

Due to open in 2024, the BCMS will be a state-of-the-art vocational and professional skills and training facility.

It will be built at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

It is projected to create more than 20,000 apprenticeships over its lifetime and help train 60,000 medical professionals in multiple disciplines.

This week Bolton Council has accepted the £20m 'levelling up' funding allocated to the project and agreed to enter into a funding agreement with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the University of Bolton.

The agreement allows the university to use the funding for the development of BCMS.

Bolton Council will be the accountable body for the project.

The university can now formally appoint the contractor and secure the relevant approvals to use university funds for works undertaken prior to the first batch of funding being released.

In a report to the council cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Adele Warren, Paul Whittingham, assistant director of economic development and regeneration. said: “The expectation is that the council will use the funds to deliver the BCMS project as set out in the approved business case and spend profile provided by the University of Bolton.

“The business case approved by DLUHC sets out details of the projects including budget, spending profile, scope, key assumptions, outputs, timeline, key milestones and risks.

“These will form the agreed parameters for taking forward the BCMS project.

“They will also form the basis for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the project and success rate of the intervention by Government.”

Mr Whittingham added that Bolton Council would be liable for any overspends on the project.

He said: “The council accepts responsibility for meeting any costs over and above DLUHC’s contribution of £20m, including potential cost overruns and the underwriting of any funding contributions expected from third parties.”