PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to give his backing to Bolton's levelling up bids - including the planned new medical college and a renewed Crompton Place redevelopment bid.

Mr Johnson gave his backing to the town's ambitious plans, speaking exclusively to The Bolton News at our offices tonight.

This comes as Mr Johnson attempts to shore up support in so-called Red Wall constituencies after recent weeks which have seen allegations of partying in Downing Street in contradicting of his own lockdown rules and the defection of Bury South MP Christian Wakeford.

The Bolton News: PM Boris Johnson visits The Bolton News officePM Boris Johnson visits The Bolton News office

Speaking on what his plans meant for the borough, Mr Johnson said: "Here in Bolton what it means is investing in things that are driving jobs and growth.

"We're investing £20m into the Bolton College of Medical Science but we don't just want to put money into the NHS we want people to get jobs in the healthcare sector.

"We're putting money into the transport sector, into bus services – now a bus, the right bus in the right place can make all the difference to you and your family getting a high paid job or not."

The Bolton News: ALLIES: The Prime Minister with Bolton West MP Chris Green, left, and Bolton North East MP Mark Logan, right

He added: "In the end what we're trying to do is create the conditions in which people, business can say look this a fantastic place to live, it's got fantastic connections, it's safe. So you've got a group of people who start companies, they invest, they create jobs."

Following on from a tour of Northern towns, including Blackpool and Middleton, Mr Johnson sat down alongside Bolton MPs Chris Green and Mark Logan to discuss the town's prospects.

The Prime Minister said the aim of the levelling up programme was to redevelop the town centre in particular as an attractive destination for professionals and entrepreneurs.

This included backing for a new bid for the £16m Crompton Place redevelopment, which failed to secure cash in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget last November.

The £250m redevelopment of Crompton Place should see the current shopping centre demolished, with 46 new retail units created and more than 180 homes. This would go in tandem with proposed redevelopments at Trinity Gateway, Central Street, Church Wharf and Moor Lane.

The Crompton Place funding would have been used for the demolition and redevelopment of the west side of the building.

Mr Johnson said: "We're certainly putting money in to support the regeneration of the town centre. With regards to the Crompton Place bid, I'm certainly keen to encourage it."

Mr Green said: "We are going to be putting another bid in for Crompton Place. We have huge ambitions for Bolton. It is such a key commuter town."

Bolton North East MP Mark Logan also championed his efforts to bring the science agency ARAI to the borough and extending the Metrolink to Bolton.