Bolton’s Town Center Regeneration Gains Momentum as Key Projects Advance

The council has made progress on two major redevelopment projects in Bolton town centre – Crompton Place and Church Wharf. A lease agreement on the former M&S building has paved the way for the Crompton Place project. The council also agreed to sell land at Church Wharf to a local developer to build new residential units and a hotel

Momentum is building behind the regeneration of Bolton town centre, as the council partners with leading real estate advisors CBRE to deliver two transformative development projects.

Work on both the redevelopment of Crompton Place, and the regeneration of Church Wharf, could start as early as this year thanks to key council decisions taken this month.

On Monday, the cabinet agreed to the provisional sale of land at Church Wharf to local developers Watson Homes to build 417 residential units and a 120-bed hotel.

This came just two weeks after a lease surrender agreement on the former M&S building, paving the way for the flagship Crompton Place redevelopment scheme.

Progress on both sites had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but strategic advice and support from CBRE has been pivotal in driving the projects forward.

Previously an underused brownfield site, direct intervention from the council has turned Church Wharf into a site with real potential as a desirable riverside location at one of the centre’s main gateways.

The provisional agreement reached this week will now see CBRE assess the viability and suitability of future plans before the final sale goes through.

Nearby, the Crompton Place Shopping Centre is set to be demolished and replaced by what will be the central development project in Bolton’s wider regeneration masterplan.

Promoting the opportunity at MIPIM 2024, Bolton set out its vision for a mixture of leisure, commercial and residential units on the site, with new public spaces and enhanced links between Victoria Square and the main thoroughfare of Bradshawgate.

In addition to providing advice on demolition, placemaking and asset management at Crompton Place, CBRE is also taking the lead on identifying a developer to take on the site.

Adam White, Senior Director, CBRE’s Development Advisory team said;

“We are delighted to lead on identifying a development partner with the relevant experience, skills and resources to deliver Bolton Council’s vision for Crompton Place via a public-private partnership.

“This is a significant mixed-use, multi-phase regeneration scheme on an important gateway site for the town to transform the area into a distinctive, vibrant place for people to work, visit and live.

“We have been instructed to provide multi-discipline advice to the Council to consider the scheme’s optimal route to market, review and manage the demolition scope of works, as well as develop a placemaking strategy for the development.

“The Council will undertake a pre-marketing engagement process to elicit initial feedback from potential developers, investors and funders on the appeal of the opportunity, initial thoughts on use mix, massing and programme and views on the delivery structure.”

Both Church Wharf and Crompton Place are part of a wider regeneration masterplan developed by Bolton Council which is already delivering a number of schemes in the town centre and beyond.

The renovation of Bolton Central Library, the upcoming Bolton Market Food Hall, Elizabeth Park, and the Wellsprings Innovation Centre have been backed by the government’s Towns Fund.

Residential developments at Moor Lane and Deansgate Gardens will contribute to a growing town centre population which Deloitte projects will reach 5,000 over the next 15 years.

Success stories elsewhere in the borough include the Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences and CAPITAL&CENTRIC’s Farnworth Green urban neighbourhood development.

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr Nick Peel, said:

“As consumer habits change, we have developed a masterplan which consolidates Bolton’s retail offer and creates space for residential, leisure, hospitality, and commercial space.

“Several projects are already underway, and the next phase will see the delivery of two major developments that will act as a catalyst for even more private sector investment.

“These are large and highly complex projects and the support of CBRE has been invaluable to our work to make Bolton an even better place to live, work and visit.”

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