Proposals for a major overhaul of a shopping centre in Bolton have been unveiled, which the council hopes will kick-start the regeneration of the town centre.
The development is being brought forward by Bolton Regeneration Limited, a partnership between Beijing Construction and Engineering Group International (BCEGI) and Midia.
The centre, which could be renamed â€˜Bolton Victoria Squareâ€™, is a strategically important step in Bolton Councilâ€™s Â£1.5 billion masterplan and one of five â€˜intervention areasâ€™.
Plans for the multi-use development combines an improved retail experience with independent and local shops, an enhanced public realm along with new â€˜A Gradeâ€™ office space, high-quality homes right in the heart of the town centre, and a hotel.
Bolton council purchased the existing shopping centre forÂ Â£14m in June 2018.
They will be holding public consultations this week in the town. For more information clickÂ here.
Tony Oakman, Bolton Councilâ€™s chief executive, said: â€˜We are committed to making Bolton town centre a great place to live, work, shop and visit. The proposals for Crompton Place lie at the heart of our Â£1.5bn town centre masterplan that will deliver a centre that everyone in Bolton can be proud of.
â€˜We want the residents of Bolton to help us shape these developments which is why it is so important that as many people as possible come along to the consultation events and have their say. All the partners have worked long and hard to get to this stage to come up with these exciting plans. Iâ€™d encourage everyone with an interest in the town centre to come along.â€™
Earlier this year,Â New StartÂ met Mr Oakman in Bolton to discuss regeneration in the town.
We asked him whether investing in retail is risky in the current climate.
He said: â€˜The reason we wanted it is itâ€™s central to our plans for the town. If you donâ€™t get hold of it and someone else does, then you lose control of a key site in your town centre.
â€˜Weâ€™re better in control of the site rather than a third party buying it. That can slow everything down.
â€˜We didnâ€™t want to buy a shopping centre, anyone looking at it must think weâ€™re bloody mad. We bought it for the opportunity to influence and change it.â€™
Read the interviewÂ here.