A range of projects aimed at transforming Bolton town centre may have been made possible thanks to a “provisional” £20m worth of levelling up funding.

The surprise package was announced by the government this week and could be used for projects such as redeveloping the town hall, remodelling the Market Place shopping centre and creating a new hotel on Le Mans Crescent.

This is based on a previous bid for levelling up funding by the council that had been rejected earlier this year but has now been given the green light in the government’s latest funding round.

Council deputy leader Cllr Akhtar Zaman said: “This provisional allocation of funding is a vote of confidence in Bolton Council and our plans to transform the town centre into an even more vibrant place to live, work and visit.

The Bolton News: The funding could make a range of projects possibleThe funding could make a range of projects possible (Image: Bolton Council)

“Work on specific projects will be subject to further discussions with the relevant partners and we are working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to confirm the details.”

Bolton was first awarded £20m in the first round of levelling up funding towards the Bolton College of Medical Sciences, which is currently under construction on the grounds of Royal Bolton Hospital on Minerva Road, Farnworth.

But the borough missed out £16m funding for the redevelopment of Crompton Place shopping centre, which is now on hold.

 A second round of bids worth £40m, for the redevelopment of the town centre and a new set of traffic lights around De Havilland Way was also rejected in January this year.

The newly announced £20m package acts as the governments third round of funding and chooses bids that had been rejected in the second round, like Bolton’s town centre bid, to make possible.

As well as the hotel on Le Mans Crescent and redevelopment of the Market Place, potential town centre projects could include creating a conference complex at the Albert Halls and remaking the area around Mawdsley Street.

Cllr Zaman, who also sits as the council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This marks another significant award of government funding for Bolton, alongside money already secured from the Levelling Up Fund as well as the Towns Fund, Future High Streets Fund, and more.

“This is a direct result of our ability to develop detailed and persuasive bids, as well as our growing reputation for delivering major projects successfully.”

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The announcement that the bid had now been approved was made by Bolton North East MP Mark Logan on Monday who described it as “fantastic” news for the borough.

This came just days after a report by the National Audit Office found that spiralling costs meant that other levelling up projects elsewhere around the country were unlikely to be delivered on time.

The report said that the original deadlines set by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were “unlikely to be me".

It also claimed that 50 per cent of the main construction contracts for Levelling Up Fund projects due to be completed by March 2024 had still not been signed a year before the deadline.