AN ambitious multi-million pound  bid to open a hotel and transform Bolton Market Place Centre - including reopening the former Debenham's unit- has been submitted to the government.

Bolton Council has submitted two bids totalling £40m to the Levelling Up Fund - in advance of the August 2 deadline - and they are in addition to the already successful application for £20M to build the new Bolton College of Medical Science.

The government fund is designed to support town's across the country.

The first bid would see a £20m investment for three new development projects in Bolton Town Centre.

If successful, the bid would create a modern hotel and conference complex, deliver a re-imagined Market Place shopping centre, and open up a historic heritage quarter.

Prepared by Bolton Council, with the support of Bolton North East MP Mark Logan, the bid is part of the wider £1bn masterplan for the regeneration of the town centre.

Under the first scheme, the under-used southern side of Le Mans Crescent would be converted into a high-end hotel operated by IHG, an internationally recognised brand, which runs hotels in places including Dubai and Los Angeles.

This would be complemented by adding conference facilities to the neighbouring Albert Halls, which would bring more visitors to the town centre, and improving public access to the listed building.

A further project would see a new layout for Market Place including a public space with the addition of a courtyard under the building’s skylight.

The building would be opened up so pedestrians can walk directly between the existing main entrance and a new entryway on St George’s Road.

Work would also focus on the former Debenhams unit to create new community, leisure, music, and sport facilities.

The Bolton News: Bolton Market Place BidBolton Market Place Bid

The third development would open up the historic area around Mawdsley Street while improving connections between Nelson Square and the rest of the town centre.

Open space would be created by demolishing the unused NHS building in Victoria Square with future potential for a small public green space.

Bolton Council leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “As shopping habits change, we want to move the town centre away from a focus on retail towards more leisure, hospitality and employment space.

“This bid would allow us to maximise the grant money available by delivering three distinct projects while also protecting and enhancing some of Bolton’s best heritage assets.

“In the meantime, other regeneration schemes are progressing well including improvement works to the library and market via the Towns Fund.”

The Bolton News: Victoria Square transformationVictoria Square transformation

Mark Logan MP said: "This bid preserves the best of what Bolton already has to offer whilst diversifying our high street - reinventing a new town centre fit for 21st Century shopping and lifestyle habits.

“Boltonians will reap the rewards for many generations to come.

“I'll continue to bang the drum in Westminster to secure as much funding as possible to make the plans Bolton's new reality."

Tim Vaughan, CEO of Moorgarth Group Limited, which runs the Market Place, said:“This submission is testament to how the public and private sectors can pull together to design an integrated and innovative proposition.

“Bringing a focus of performing arts and music into the town centre to complement and support the existing offers is a huge step forward to re-invigorating the town centre and its position as a destination to the wider region.

“The cultural and community benefits of this proposal should restore real pride into the town centre.”

£20M would be used to tackle congestion on our roads, with the second bid securing funding for much-needed improvements in traffic capacity at the Beehive Roundabout, the Spirit of Sport Roundabout, the A6 De Havilland Way Roundabout and at Junction 6 of the M61.

The council has worked with Bolton West MP Chris Green to bring forward the proposal which would improve connectivity in this key part of the borough.

Yasmin Qureshi MP, another supporter of the Levelling Up Fund bid, said: "I was pleased to lend priority to support to this town centre bid, of which millions of pounds of redevelopment will span my constituency.

"It will provide a lifeline to our high street and support our town's vision for 2030.

"Our Council need to encourage sustainable economic growth and ensure that Bolton is the best place to grow, work, and learn in, and this marks a positive step towards that"

The area suffers from significant travel delays at peak times and the proposals aim to address this issue and prevent further congestion in the future.

Segregated pedestrian and cycling routes would also be improved in line with national guidance, delivering a network that is safer for all road users.