A £1bn blueprint to redevelop the future of Bolton town centre up to 2030 has been formally approved.
Redevelopment will include creating 1,800 new homes, 7,400 new jobs and generating economic activity worth an additional £412m over five strategic sites.
This transformation comes as Bolton was named the ninth best place in the country for people to live and work in by Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites seeing off competition from the likes of Birmingham, Oxford and Belfast.
Leader of Bolton Council Cllr Cliff Morris said: “We have been really pleased with the reaction we have had from across the region from our partners, from businesses and most importantly the public.
“Yes, our plan is ambitious, yes it is bold, and yes it is aspirational. We make no apologies for any of this.
“The regeneration of the town centre is already underway with developments like the £27 million Market Place refurbishment and the £48 million Interchange.
“But more change is needed to make the town centre fit for the future and we are going to drive it forward as rapidly as we can.”
On the positive ranking by Glassdoor, Cllr Morris added: “This study confirms what we in Bolton already know - that it is a great town to live and work in.
“Our £1bn plan for the town centre will facilitate the redevelopment and growth of our town and will help to make Bolton a more desirable town to live and work in.
“To feature so high up on a list ahead of a lot of other large towns and cities speaks volumes.”
The areas identified for improvement in the masterplan are: Trinity Quarter, Cheadle Square, Crompton Place, Church Wharf and Croal Valley.
Bolton Council announced initial details of the plan in July 2017 and the authority has since approved borrowing £100m to kick-start the project. The remainder of the plan will be funded by private sector investors.
The £100m will be used for a range of priorities including site assembly; getting sites ‘development ready’; public realm, and infrastructure.
It is hoped that work on the first phase – clearance of land in the Trinity Gateway and Church Wharf areas – can start as early as Spring 2018.
The strategy aims to remodel key areas of Bolton town centre with housing - a major proposal within the framework - to attract families, young professionals, older people and students.