Bolton: Well placed for investment

Bolton is one of the largest towns in Europe, and with that comes the confidence to think big and offer big opportunities to the right investors.

With a population of 300,000, and a total of 1 million people living within just 45 minutes, Bolton has the second highest employee base in Greater Manchester and £4.6bn of economic output each year.

Geographically, it is uniquely placed to benefit from the new Greater Manchester Trailblazer devolution deal, to take advantage of the economic opportunities in the Wigan-Bolton Growth Corridor, and to retain its strong historic and economic links with Lancashire to the North.

Excellent transport connections provide direct access to major motorways, placing it within a 2-hour drive of 60% of UK businesses and just 20 miles from Manchester Airport.

Bolton’s excellent schools, exceptional cultural offer, major events, and beautiful countryside make it a desirable destination to live, work, study, visit and invest.

Bolton has everything investors need to succeed. It is already one of the most digitally connected towns in the UK and benefits from strong local leadership, a strategic vision, a pipeline of talent and skills development, and great transport infrastructure.

Investing in a bright future:

Image: Invest in Bolton

Bolton has a proud history of innovation and entrepreneurial success, but it does not stand still for long.

Once a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, that same spirit of ingenuity is now reshaping Bolton to tackle new challenges and meet changing consumer habits.

The town centre is being reimagined as a series of vibrant urban neighbourhoods offering the right mix of residential, commercial, retail, leisure, and public realm developments.

Working closely with private sector partners, Bolton has developed a £1bn investment pipeline to transform the centre and drive growth. Research by Deloitte shows that these projects will deliver 4,300 new jobs, 5,000 new town centre residents and £565m in Gross Development Value.

Bolton is also investing in its district centres. The areas of Farnworth, Horwich, Westhoughton and Little Lever, each with their own unique heritage and identity, have received funding to meet the needs of residents and to address local priorities.

Bolton is also building on its sector strengths, while working to identify new areas for growth. Major hubs like Logistics North and Wingates Industrial Estate are leading centres for manufacturing and logistics, and home to many fast-growing companies.

The borough is also set to become an industry leader in health training and innovation with the Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences opening in September and serving as a catalyst for further investment in the sector.

Bolton has a well-earned reputation as a host of world class events. Its annual Food and Drink Festival is one of the biggest in Europe, attracting half a million visitors over four days last year. Other success stories like the annual IRONMAN UK weekend and the 2021 Rugby League World Cup could soon be joined by one of the world’s biggest sporting events, as ambitions plans take shape to convert Hulton Park into a world class golf resort to host an upcoming Ryder Cup.

Here are just some of the projects that are shaping a bright future for Bolton.

News homes in the town centre and beyond:

Image: Invest in Bolton

Bolton is re-imagining and reanimating its town centre by creating desirable residential opportunities for a planned 5,000 additional town centre residents.

Moor Lane, Deansgate Gardens, Church Wharf and St George’s Road developments will become vibrant urban neighbourhoods in the heart of centre.

Offering a mix of properties and tenancies, these projects will create cross generational communities that bring together older residents, with young people and families. These residents will help support the town centre economy as Bolton delivers the ideal mix of retail, commercial, leisure, and hospitality offer.

Away from the town centre, more much-needed housing is being delivered at Rivington Chase – a £200m regeneration of the former Horwich Loco works. 1,700 new homes are being created on brownfield land on either side of a brand-new £12m link road which will better connect Horwich with Middlebrook, home to the largest integrated and sustainable employment, leisure, sports, and retail scheme in the UK.

Meanwhile, renowned social impact developers CAPITAL&CENTRIC, best known for their innovative and stylish development projects in Manchester and other big cities, is delivering Farnworth Green. The completed project will be a liveable town centre neighbourhood providing 97 homes, retail, hospitality and a new community space.

The ideal place to live, work, study and invest:

Bolton is complementing this new town centre housing with a series of developments to benefit not just the new residents but also visitors, students, shoppers, and commuters.

A new agreement with remaining lease-holders could see the redevelopment of the council-owned Crompton Place Shopping Centre, in the heart of the town centre, start as soon as late 2024.

Many of the previous tenants have already been supported to relocate to the Market Place Shopping Centre, helping to consolidate Bolton’s retail offer and freeing up this central site to be transformed into a mixed-use development.

The finished project will also create more public space while also establishing better connections between the two strategic areas of Victoria Square and Bradshawgate.

Elsewhere, investment from the government’s Towns Fund has been put to good use, completely transforming the area near to Bolton’s civic and cultural quarter.

Within a short walk of the Grade II* listed Bolton Town Hall and the renowned Octagon Theatre, visitors can find the renovated Bolton Central Library, the new Bolton Market Food Hall and Elizabeth Park, the town’s first new green space in 120 years.

Nearby, the Wellsprings Innovation Centre will provide the ideal space for new businesses to set up and start out. The finished development will bring high quality jobs to Bolton alongside flexible co-working office spaces where businesses can benefit from collaboration, practical advice and support to access funding.

Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences: The start of a new growth sector

Image: Invest in Bolton

The brand-new Bolton Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), based at Royal Bolton Hospital, will open its doors in September this year.

Backed by £20m from the first round of the government’s Levelling Up Fund, the Institute will train approximately 3,000 learners a year, with courses ranging from apprenticeships to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

The building will boast the latest technology, including simulation suites which can replicate different hospital wards; an immersive 4D room, which uses projectors, sounds, lighting and smells to generate realistic scenarios; and two assessment suites with life-like mannequins and virtual dissection beds.

The project generated £12.3m of local spending in 2023, but that is just the beginning.

Following on from this success, industry experts predict that health innovation will become a key growth sector for Bolton. Firstly, the institute will support and attract students from Bolton and across the region providing specialist skills pathways, with the aim of growing and retaining a talent pipeline within the borough. Secondly, it is expected that the development will prove to be a catalyst for the wider sector, attracting established health innovation businesses and inspiring start-ups to make a home in Bolton.

Logistics North: Delivering for Bolton

Bolton’s unrivalled connectivity make it a natural place for manufacturing and logistics businesses to thrive.

Logistics North is one of Bolton’s great success stories. As the North West’s largest live commercial development, the site hosts national and international companies across 3m sqft of Grade A logistics and manufacturing space. With tenants including Aldi, Amazon and Whistl, there are 5,500 people employed on-site.

Bolton is now looking to create another 4m sqft of industrial floorspace close to the M61 at Wingates Industrial Estate. The site has even greater potential to expand, with additional land identified in Greater Manchester’s Places for Everyone spatial strategy.

Hulton Park: Putting Bolton on the global stage

Hulton Park presents one of the most exciting and ambitious economic opportunities in the North of England. It is strategically located within the Wigan-Bolton Growth Corridor - one of Greater Manchester’s six identified growth locations.

By redeveloping the historic private estate, Hulton Park will bring together Peel L&P’s plans for an iconic new Ryder Cup venue with a new tourism destination and parkland community.

Once complete, the project will deliver £1.6 billion of economic impact nationally and create a legacy for the region in sport, health and wellbeing, skills and participation, tourism and inward investment.

After securing planning permission, Hulton Park is now a shortlisted candidate venue for a prospective Ryder Cup bid by the UK Government.

This presents a unique opportunity to host one of the world’s largest sporting events and create an iconic sporting venue and visitor destination, with a lasting legacy for local people and the wider region. By hosting international sporting and business events, the site can place Bolton on a global stage.

Learn more about opportunities in Bolton here.