Bolton's £40m bids to transform a busy junction and the town centre have been unsuccessful, it has just been announced.

In what has been described as a day of 'deep disappointment' for the borough, Bolton has not received funding in the latest round of the 'Levelling Up' grants being handed out.

Bolton Council lodged the two bids for the town centre and for De Havilland Way, each of them worth £20 million, last summer.

An announcement on the outcome of this round of the scheme, the second round since it was launched in 2020, was scheduled for the end of last year.

This evening, after a number of delays, it was announced Bolton's bids were unsuccessful, with 15 other bids in the North West successful instead.

The Bolton News: Cllr Martyn CoxCllr Martyn Cox (Image: Bolton Council)

Bolton Council leader Martyn Cox told The Bolton News he was critical of what he called a lack of 'feedback and guidance' from government.

He added it was a day of 'deep disappointment' for the area.

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Bolton Town Centre Masterplan: What is happening now and in the future

Cllr Cox said: "Officers and elected members worked extremely hard on putting these bids together.

"It is very disappointing that at no stage of the process did we get any feedback or guidance from ministers or staff at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).

"Bolton would have benefited from both bids, but the town centre bid in particular would have had a real positive impact for residents, visitors and businesses. 

"Working with our partners Moorgarth, it would have allowed for a significantly remodelled Market Place to ensure vitally needed footfall for the town centre. 

"We will be making our deep disappointment known at every level of government."

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The Bolton News: The money would have transformed the town centreThe money would have transformed the town centre

The aim of the bid for the town centre was to add a high-end hotel to Le Mans Crescent and a conference complex to Albert Halls, and to make improvements to Market Place shopping centre - transforming the former Debenhams store - and the area around Mawdsley Street.

Bolton town centre Levelling Up bid to open hotel and Debenham's unit

The aim of the bid for De Havilland Way was to increase capacity and improve connectivity in an area of significant congestion between the Beehive Roundabout and Junction Six of the motorway. The council said it is looking at other opportunities for investment into both ideas.

In the initial round last year, the borough was awarded £20 million by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) for Bolton College of Medical Sciences, where work started in recent months.

But the borough was denied £16 million by the DLUHC for a redevelopment of Crompton Place shopping centre, now on hold until at least next year.

There is another round still to come, with around £3.8 billion of the £4.8 billion total used to date.