Potentially losing yet another high street giant confirms that Bolton town centre’s future is intown hall bosses say.

Wilko made the shock announcement that it is looking to go into administration, putting branches around the country including Bolton’s Deansgate outlet under threat of closure.

In response, Bolton Council leaders say that this shows the future for the town’s high street lies in concentrating on other kinds of developments.

Cabinet member for regeneration Cllr Akhtar Zaman said: “Obviously its very sad news that Wilko could be moving out and I suspect its to do with the decline in retail generally that we’ve seen in Bolton which is also happening all across the country.

“It’s really sad that this is happening, but I think that we had already decided that were moving to more of a residential, culture and leisure offering around Bolton town centre.”

The Bolton News: Housing plans like those submitted as part of Neighbourhood Bolton could be an alternative future for the town centreHousing plans like those submitted as part of Neighbourhood Bolton could be an alternative future for the town centre (Image: Capital&Centric)

He added: “We really need to focus around residential and cultural developments so that although shopping habits are changing, we’ll still have that offer on the high street.”

Recent housing developments around Bolton town centre have included the Moor Lane bus station redevelopment scheme, which will create more than 200 new homes and plans to create around 150 new houses off Central Street.

The Neighbourhood Bolton scheme plans to create around 160 homes across several town centre sites, while there have also been several other smaller scale developments to create new flats in Bolton town centre, often above shops and other facilities.

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Together, developers and council retailers hopes that the housing and the leisure and cultural sites that come with them will help to make Bolton a popular living space and destination for visitors, replacing the gaps left by departed retailers.

If Wilko does in fact shut, it will join Marks and Spencer, Clinton Cards, Tessuti and possibly Boots the chemist in leaving the town over recent months.

With around 12,000 people employed at around 400 branches around the country, Wilko going into administration is likely to have a similar impact on other towns.

The company has said it feels “mounting cash pressures” have left it with no other option but to taker this course.