Why Bolton has big potential for buy-to-let property investors


One of the largest towns in Europe, Bolton is also renowned across the UK as one of the friendliest places.

The warmth and welcome visitors receive from local people – aka Boltonians – is a major factor in the town’s success as a place to do business, live, study and visit. Bolton is building on its rich industrial and cultural heritage to meet the needs of a growing population – currently 280,000 and projected to exceed 300,000 by 2025 – and provide a modern, well-connected base for a diverse range of employers and residents.

£1bn regeneration masterplan

Bolton offers a rich variety of opportunities – from commercial developments to housing schemes – and expects to see more than £1bn of town centre investment in the next 15 years.

It’s a key player in the Greater Manchester economy, which is at the heart of UK Government’s Northern Powerhouse strategy.

The council has created a £100 million development fund to kick start development and bring in £1 billion of development and investment. Bolton has a rich history of successful investments with particular examples including the award winning Market Place development and the recently opened £50 million transport interchange. Bolton also houses Logistics North, the largest logistics and manufacturing site in the North West, as well as Middlebrook, the biggest leisure and shopping centre in Europe and the home of Bolton Wanderers FC. Both these developments are just off the M61 and this is evidence of growing investor confidence in Bolton Town.

Across the range of potential town centre uses, areas identified for growth are:

  • Retail – Consolidate the retail core
  • Tourism/leisure – Increase offer for both leisure and tourism
  • Office – Improve Grade A office development offer to stimulate growth
  • Education – Working alongside University of Bolton to significantly expand student accommodation and improve location and accessibility.
  • Residential – introduce additional town centre housing
  • Travel Infrastructure and SMART Technology – The ability to create a walkable town centre, with public transport links and town centre living will create a sustainable and resilient town centre.

Economy and employment

Bolton’s economic output is worth £4.6bn in its own right, and it forms an important part of Greater Manchester – the UK’s largest economy outside London.

It’s home to Logistics North – the biggest development of its kind in the North of England and a distribution hub for major international names including MBDA, Aldi, Lidl, Amazon and Whistl.

Bolton also takes in Middlebrook, the largest leisure and retail complex in Europe, covering an expanse of 80 hectares and serving as the location of Bolton Wanderers FC, one of the oldest football clubs in the world.

The town itself is a major shopping destination for North West England, with the jewel in the crown being the Market Place – a Victorian former market hall that has recently undergone a £27m transformation to create a buzzing retail and leisure destination.

Like all major urban centres, its success revolves around an ability to offer a wide range of reasons to visit: from major high street retailers and popular restaurant brands to sports facilities and cultural attractions

The town centre masterplan is designed to bring even greater diversity to that mix.

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Located in the heart of the town, the University of Bolton is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in the UK.

It’s also a major player in the regeneration of the town centre, with world class facilities: a £31m health, leisure and research centre (developed in partnership with Bolton Council and NHS Bolton), a new business school and a law school.

The Institute of Management is based in Bolton Central — new Grade A offices adjacent to the £50m transport interchange.

The University’s £13m National Centre for Motorsport Engineering opened in 2017 to drive forward the evolution of motorsport education and to house the Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering.

Further projects are in the pipeline as part of a long-term programme of investment, including a £40m hall of residence in the town centre to accommodate a growing population, which already numbers 13,000 students.

The University, Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College are co-located in a £90m Education Zone. They recently formed a partnership to create one of the largest education providers in the country and are an important part of the town’s Innovation Zone.

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Bolton’s cultural assets are playing a key role in the town’s renaissance.

The grade II* listed Albert Halls has undergone an award-winning £6.5m refurbishment that has created a modern, multi-purpose venue within a much-loved, historic landmark.

Another award-winning attraction, the Octagon Theatre, is currently seeing the biggest redevelopment in its 50-year history with a £10m investment that will increase its capacity and make it more accessible.

The £3.8m redevelopment of Bolton Museum will create a new Egyptology gallery and international visitor attraction when it opens in Autumn 2018. The museum’s extensive array of artefacts from Ancient Egypt has made it a magnet for experts from all over the world for many years. The collection will be brought to life with visitors taken on a journey that animates life in Ancient Egypt – culminating in full size reproduction of a pharaoh’s tomb.

Bolton also hosts an extensive range of cultural events throughout the year.

This includes Bolton Food and Drink Festival, which has been running for 12 years and is the largest of its kind in the North West, attracting more than 250,000 people over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The town has hosted the Ironman UK race for nine years, which has now become the 4th largest in Europe. It is also the venue for the world’s largest Ironkids race. Both events, held in July, draw thousands of visitors.


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Bolton Town Hall

Why Bolton has big potential for buy-to-let property investors


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