Bolton town centre has been selected to go through to the next phase of the Future High Streets Fund with a bid to receive £25m to transform the Lancashire town.
A further 50 areas across the UK have been shortlisted for investment into their high streets, adding to the 50 already chosen as part of the now £1bn government fund, with Bolton one of the successful bidders.
Bolton Council had entered a £25m bid for a share of the fund, and this bid is now going forward to the next stage of assessment. The council is expected to be given a grant of £150,000 to go towards establishing a full business case for its investment programme.
Council leader David Greenhalgh said: “This is brilliant news for our town and work will now begin on building the business case for funding. As a council, we are committed to making Bolton town centre an ideal place to live, work, shop and visit.”
He also referred to the town’s extensive transformation and regeneration which is already underway, adding: “The £1.2bn masterplan is progressing well as we look to regenerate key areas of the town centre.
“This investment will continue regardless of whether or not we are successful in our bid for the Future High Streets Fund, but the funding would allow us to do even more.”
Bolton masterplan already underway
The £1.2bn masterplan referred to by Greenhalgh is expected to significantly transform the centre of Bolton. The aim of the project is to improve the residential options in the centre, away from its current retail focus. Spread over five key areas – Crompton Place, Church Wharf, Croal Valley, Cheadle Square and Trinity Square – the redevelopment will see as many as 2,000 new homes created as well as new commercial quarters.
The project is expected to provide a huge boost to the town’s economy by around £4.6bn and create 7,400 jobs, in line with the recent focus on the UK’s Northern Powerhouse, bringing post-industrial areas into the future through devolved spending power and financial investment.
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