Bolton is extremely popular right now, in particular it’s property market, with the town identified as one of the most important parts of the Greater Manchester economy, and it seems as though its importance is only going to increase given the current economical growth Bolton is experiencing itself. This is largely thanks to two main factors, ‘The Bolton Masterplan’ and ‘The Bolton Economic Strategy for Growth’. Both plans go hand in hand in the hope of boosting the ever-growing Bolton economy.
The Bolton Economic Strategy
The Bolton Economic Strategy is Bolton’s strategy for growth from 2016 to 2030. The strategy aims for a vibrant and peaceful Bolton in 2030 with a strong, productive and hard-working economy. The key factors in achieving these goals include:
- Increasing economic activity
- Increasing employment
- Improving productivity and entrepreneurship
- Improving aspirations, information and guidance
- Linking supply and demand for key sectors
- Improving qualifications levels and transitions
- Supporting new and existing businesses
- Embracing data and smarter technologies
- Growing a resilient business base
- Improving the cultural offer
- Meeting housing needs
- Maximising the potential of key local assets
- Improving health and well-being
- Narrowing the gap in earnings
- Maintaining and enhance transport connections
- Enhancing physical and digital connectivity
The aim is to make Bolton a place to both work and invest. The residents will be happy, ambitious and skilled, living healthier, wealthier and more prosperous lives that are well connected to good jobs and new opportunities beyond Greater Manchester and the north of England.
The Bolton Masterplan
Alongside the economic strategy, Bolton is currently undergoing a town centre regeneration known as ‘The Bolton Masterplan’. The Masterplan is worth a massive £1.2 billion and involves a number of investments and developments into multiple sectors within Bolton town centre. The plan’s aims will result in over 2000 new homes, 7,400 new jobs being created and a £4.6 billion increase in the local economy.
The Masterplan breaks the town centre down into 5 key areas of development; Crompton Place, Church Wharf, Croal Valley, Cheadle Square and Trinity Quarter.
Crompton Place is the main shopping precinct in the heart of the town centre. The regeneration for the centre will see Crompton Place reduce its retail space – but possibly extend key stores such as Primark and M&S – in order to transform the centre into a more food and drink, leisure, commercial and residential orientated space.
The next area of development is Church Wharf, currently made up of numerous abandoned warehouses and factory buildings. The Church Wharf development will see the creation of over 350 brand new homes, a new park, hotel and a bridge. The demand for residential one/two-bedroom flats in Central Bolton is extremely high, and the Church Wharf development will aim to meet the demand with a large number of waterfront housing and town houses.
Croal Valley is another area identified in the plan, with its surrounding area currently being used for parking and open space and offering very little to the town. This section of Bolton’s regeneration will focus on developing up to 500 new residential apartments, as well as a variety of other developments. Alongside the new houses, the development of the Croal Valley area will aim to improve the River Croal, working with the Environment Agency and United Utilities on a number of proposals.
The next area of development is Cheadle Square, Bolton’s main academic area situated in the town’s cultural quarter. Even more residential apartments are set to be built in the area around the town hall as well an abundance of food, beverage and retail spaces. The development will also see a new Market Square developed, providing the area’s residents with even more up-market cafes and restaurants in the open space.
The final key area of development in Bolton’s town centre is the Trinity Quarter. The Trinity Quarter is set to introduce an eclectic mix of residential, work and other developments to the area, including a multi-storey car par, restaurants, retail and residential units. The area already benefits from being Bolton’s most accessible thanks to the new £50m transport interchange, complete with an eye catching 100-metre skylink bridge.
It’s clear to see how ambitious the vision for Bolton’s future is, aiming to boost the town’s economy drastically whilst simultaneously moving the town centre focus to a more residential one. The last five years have already seen an increase of around 30% in house values for apartments across Bolton thanks to the high demand for rental properties, and with the extensive investment and regeneration it is only going to improve.
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