What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan?

What is the Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan?


A more Powerful Northern England than Ever Before

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Nothern Powerhouse’ being thrown around by Politicians and the media in the last few years. Broadly speaking this is an initiative to boost Northern England’s local economy by investing in people, skills, innovation transport and culture.

This huge project is all about redressing the balance between the Northern regions and the South East of the UK, launching the post-industrial Northern towns into the future with a combination of devolved government and financial investment. As such, the Northern Powerhouse initiative is divided into location specific projects; the Masterplan being Bolton’s overarching plan for regeneration.


The UK’s biggest town gets even bigger

The Bolton Masterplan focuses on the town centre by injecting investment into a number of sectors: retail, leisure, employment, education, residential and transport, and across a number of specified districts.

Worth an enormous £1.2 billion, the Masterplan’s vision is to re build the town centre through a series of developments and projects that will result in more than 2000 new homes being built and 7,400 jobs being created; together boosting the local economy by £4.6 billion.

The last 5 years has seen an increase of around 30% in house values for apartments across Bolton, owing to the demands of the rental market. The investment potential of Bolton is greatly helped out by its proximity to the city of Manchester (only 20 minutes away), which means there is a constant demand of young people and professionals who see Bolton as a commutable location. The University of Bolton is expected to double its numbers over the next 15 years which undoubtedly creates even more demand for homes.

All of this is why an increase in town centre residential development is considered key to the long-term success of Bolton. It’s important to remember that the focus on residential development will be accompanied by new projects for recreation and entertainment, include parks, bars and café’s.


Key areas for development

The Masterplan’s framework specifies 5 key areas of development within the town centre.


Trinity Quarter


What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan? Aspen Woolf

Bolton’s Masterplan – Living/office space in Trinity Quarter


Bolton’s Trinity Quarter is a highly accessible location that will see development in both work and living space. Currently comprised of former industrial buildings, this area is planned to be redeveloped through a mix of new buildings and up-cycling of already existing sites. The northeast section of Trinity Quarter will be the focus of residential developments, offering a mixture of housing types with communal space ideal for a range of residents.

The total number of new homes in Trinity Quarter is expected to reach 500, accommodating 1,000 new residents, with £137 million in property sales values.


Cheadle Square


What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan? Aspen Woolf

Bolton’s Masterplan – Living space in Cheadle Square


This is Bolton’s main academic and cultural area and comprises of a number of development sites, including the former bus station on Black Horse Street, Cheadle Square, Le Mans Square and Great Moor Street Car Park.

The now unused bus station site provides an opportunity for the creation of 63 apartments and 246 student rooms, with grand floor space of 5,293 sq meters for food, beverage and retail. Other areas of Cheadle square will together provide a further 340 homes.

A new Market Square will provide an open area that gives more scope to the activities that are currently held in Victoria Square. Queen Street will become a key destination featuring up-market restaurants and cafes which themselves border a historic public space.

300 new residents will be brought into this new area, living in properties that generate £37 million of sales.

Crompton Place


What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan? Aspen Woolf

Bolton’s Masterplan – Improved retail in Crompton Place


This is the shopping precinct at the centre of Bolton’s civic identity. The Masterplan’s blueprint for this area is to modernise the retail experience by introducing a range of up-market restaurants while updating accessibility to the neighboring areas and redesigning the main façade of the building. Some large spaces are likely to be used for workshops and teaching, providing an altogether new sense of community to Bolton’s Crompton Place.


Croal Valley / St Helena / Central Street


What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan? Aspen Woolf

Bolton’s Masterplan – Flats and townhouses in Croal Valley and the surrounding area


Currently Bolton’s Croal Valley and surrounding area is used mainly for parking and open space, and does not make a significant contribution to the town centre. That is certainly due to change with the area facilitating a mix of uses, whether retail, residential or more broadly for the community. Large vacant spaces provide ample opportunity for development and will contribute to the area’s 350 flats and 50 townhouses generating £117 million in sales revenues. 500 new jobs will be created here.


Church Wharf


What is Bolton’s Regeneration Masterplan? Aspen Woolf

Bolton’s Masterplan – A new neighbourhood Church Wharf


Primarily made up of derelict and demolished warehouses and factory buildings, Bolton’s Church Wharf development will create an entirely new neighbourhood north west of the town centre. There is strong demand for 1-2 bed flats in Central Bolton and the development will reflect this while introducing waterfront housing and town houses.

With a mainly residential focus, 400-500 new homes will be built in Church Wharf, though the area will retain a strong element of green public space. £60 million of house sales will be generated here.


What does this mean?

Clearly Bolton’s Masterplan is a gigantic change for what is already the biggest town in the UK. Up to now Bolton has been a fairly unassuming town in the northwest. The Masterplan is set to change all of that by injecting a huge amount of resources in the town centre, completely revolutionizing its identity and creating a new community for thousands of new residents.

All this means that Bolton is a prime opportunity for property investment, capable of generating high yields for owners.

Why not have a look at our investment opportunities in Bolton.

Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019

Why should you invest in Bolton?


You probably aren’t aware of it, but the unassuming commuter town of Bolton represents one of the best opportunities for investment in the UK. We’ve put together this list of the top reasons why you should invest in Bolton so you can learn about what makes the biggest town in the UK such an exciting proposition.


The Bolton Masterplan


Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? The Bolton Masterplan


Let’s get straight to the bread and butter of why Bolton is set to be a winner for investors. The Bolton Town Centre Masterplan is a £1.2 Billion regeneration project aimed at transforming the current retail focused centre into a residential area, introducing over 2,000 new homes.

Although retail space will be reduced, the plans incorporate a strategy to retain a small number of popular stores including Primark, Marks and Spencer and Boots. There will also be an increased number of leisure and catering options for the influx of new residents.

We’ll post another article soon going into the specific details of this incredible project. The main thing to take away here is that Bolton is undergoing a radical transformation, changing the nature of the city centre itself. This new investment is added to an already existing £260m investment in Bolton’s public and private sectors, including a £48m rebuilding of the Interchange Transport Hub.

Bolton’s population currently stands at around 280,000 and is projected to exceed 300,000 by 2025. Clearly, it’s all about growth in Bolton.

Why not have a look at an example of a modern city living apartment development that we’re offering?



Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? Economic Growth


Bolton would never have become what it is today if it were not for Flemish textile weavers settling in the area thanks to the ideal climate conditions. The town went on to become a major player in the textile industry and branched out into a number of other industries during the Industrial Revolution. Even to this day Bolton retains much of its heritage by continuing to serve a number of industries including steel, construction, paper, and textiles. But that doesn’t mean Bolton has failed to modernise – many businesses working in IT and technology have moved into the town, and a recent £15 million project has connected Bolton to the world with high-performing Broadband internet.

The Logistics industry deserves a special mention here as Bolton is home to Logistics North, the biggest development of its kind in Northern England, serving international names including MBDA, Aldi, Lidl, Amazon and Whistl.

One key fact to consider when discussing the local economy is that Bolton is situated in Greater Manchester, the largest economy in the UK outside of London. By adding its own £4.6bn to Greater Manchester’s economic output, Bolton plays a major part in the regions success.

Proximity to Manchester

Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? Proximity to Manchester


Another reason why investors consider Bolton is because of its Geographical proximity to Manchester; only a 20 minute journey away. This means that Bolton is a perfect commuter town for those working in Manchester but who choose to avoid increasing costs. Many professionals working in Manchester will be looking to capitalise on Bolton’s local investment we mentioned earlier by moving into the new residential developments currently under construction.

Of course, being near to Manchester also means residents are able to sample some of the best Culture in the North West…


Local Culture

Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? Local Culture


Manchester is perhaps the biggest cultural hub outside of London, with a huge number of listed building, museums, galleries and theatres. Post-industrial wealth means it has been possible to convert industrial buildings into centres of cultural interest, from The Quays – now home to MediaCityUK, the largest media hub in Europe, to The Lowry, Manchester’s biggest cultural complex.

Greater Manchester has launched its own Cultural Strategy, running from April 2019 to March 2024, bringing together the shared interests of all its ten districts. This focus on culture is a great sign that the area will go from strength to strength as it develops over the forthcoming years.



Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? Education


Bolton has 97 primary schools, 18 secondary schools, 6 special schools, 3 further education colleges, 9 independent schools and 1 university in its catchment area.

Around 14,000 students attend the University of Bolton, and Bolton One is a new £31 million purpose-built campus housing a new sports complex as well as health, science and sports teaching and research facilities.

Manchester’s excellent University educates around 40,000 students at any one time, and is only a short commute away.



Top reasons to invest in Bolton 2019 Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bolton? Transport connections


Bolton is well connected by all means of transport, being only 20 miles from Manchester Airport, offering a connection to 190 destinations across the world.

The West Coast Mainline, First TransPennine Express and Northern Trains serve Bolton by rail.

The M6, M60 and M61 roads mean Bolton is easily accessible by car.


Final words

With more than a Billion pounds worth of investment pouring into the town over the next few years, combined with an excellent location in Greater Manchester, Bolton represents an excellent chance for investment. If you aren’t convinced by the above points, consider that Bolton’s house prices are 27% under the national average* and have risen 25% over the last 5 years.**

Have a look at our investment opportunities in Bolton.





Buying To Let Is A Better Investment Than Buying A Home

Could an investment property work for you_

There’s a lot to be said for putting down roots and purchasing your first property with the intention of living in it certainly is the norm. However, what if you broke with tradition and actually purchased a house you didn’t intend to live in? Many people are looking at buy to let investment properties as their ideal investment option.

If you find yourself in a position where you have enough money for a deposit for a property, then you might want to consider using that cash to purchase an investment property instead of a home. This investment will make you money and in time, it will generate enough cash for you to purchase your own home, while also improving your investment portfolio.

So, why should you purchase an investment property before you purchase a home for yourself?

The finance process is different

There are not many people who are in a position where they can purchase their property completely, which means that they require a mortgage. However, many lenders are not comfortable with lending the money. In contrast to this, when it comes to investing in property, it is not tied to a standard loan, which means that the financing can be obtained through different options. Investors can get creative with the way in which they finance the property, while the income generated will help to pay off the loan quickly.

If you invest in property, your tenants will cover the cost of the monthly repayments, enabling your property to increase in value without you using your own money.

Generate an income efficiently

The aim of any investor is to purchase a property that has a positive cash flow. Therefore, it is important that you carry out the correct research on the area and the market in general. If you find a property that offers a significant yield then your monthly mortgage payments will be made but you will also make money with it. Once you take out all expenses, any cash left over will go straight to you as a profit. So, all it takes is a property that is in good condition and you will be able to rent it out straight away.
If you purchase your own home then you are not making money. However, if you have to continue renting then the aim is to purchase a property that covers your rent at the same time.

It provides a long-term investment

If you invest in property, you are doing it to make money. If you purchase a buy-to-let property then you can achieve this if the property market has seen an increase in property prices. Therefore, you will be able to sell your property at a higher price than you paid. Investing in property does require the value of the property to increase, so when it does it means that you get to make money without the hard work. The only thing you are required to do is to maintain it. This is a different type of sale when compared to that of your home. You can sell your investment property in order to purchase a large property or several properties while selling your own property carries an emotional attachment and a different thought process.

Buying To Let Is A Better Investment Than Buying A Home Aspen Woolf

You are not limited by the property market

When you purchase a property to live in, you have to consider a number of factors such as your job, your families, the area and your earnings. This means that you can only consider a number of properties within a certain geographical area. If you are purchasing a buy-to-let property then you are not restricted by one market. The world is a small place now and because property management companies are located in almost every area, it means that you can consider other markets and areas. This opens many doors, making it possible for you to find properties that have a low purchase price but a high demand when it comes to tenants as this will enable you to achieve a higher yield.

You can choose any property type

Purchasing a property for your own needs is a completely different situation than that of purchasing for investment reasons. You have to consider the size of the property, how you plan to use it and even think about the size of your family and whether it will have enough room and space. This instantly limits you to a certain aspect of the market where you can only choose from a certain number of properties. When it comes to investing in property, you can choose any type of property providing it will generate good returns and that you can cover the repayments. This opens many doors and provides you with more opportunities for making more money.

There are tax benefits

Owning a home in the UK requires you to pay all kinds of taxes which includes council tax as well as many other taxes should you choose to sell and move home. These taxes are lost and irretrievable. However, in contrast to this, if you are purchasing an investment property, the taxes differ and although they cannot be avoided, they can be taken care of in other ways. This will involve tenants covering the costs of council tax while there expenses that can be deducted from any profits such as travel to and from the property, remedial work that has to be carried as well as other costs. Owning an investment property will enable you to maximise your returns while taking advantage of the range of tax exemptions.

So, you might have been saving hard for many years to get onto the property ladder and own your own home but an open mind can really make a difference. If you consider an investment property, then you are owning your own property but one that is generating an income and making you money. Therefore, purchasing an investment property can often make more sense that purchasing a home. Once you find the right investment property and begin to make money, then you can turn your attention to growing your equity before saving up enough money to purchase your own home.

Landlords want new PM to be more positive towards private rented sector

Sheffield is popular with students, meaning high rental demand

Landlords want the candidates to lead the Conservative Party and be the next British Prime Minister to adopt a more positive approach to the private rented sector.

In a letter sent to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson the Residential Landlords Association warns that the interests of tenants are not being well served by policies which are reducing the supply of homes to rent.

According to Government data, 10% of landlords representing 18% of all tenancies in the sector plan to reduce the number of properties they rent out whilst 5% of landlords representing 5% of tenancies plan to leave the sector altogether.

Indeed, recent RLA research suggests that 46 per cent of landlords are planning to sell some or all of their properties and the organisation points out that this comes following a raft of Conservative policies aimed at dampening investment in the market, including an extra 3% stamp duty on landlord investment in new homes to rent.

It adds that most recently the Government has proposed limiting the ability of landlords to repossess properties when they need to and as a result of the fall-off in investment, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has warned that expectations for increasing rents are now at their highest point for three years.

The RLA is calling on the leadership candidates to back its five point plan for the sector which calls for pro-growth taxation to ensure enough homes to rent to meet growing demand.

It also includes a call for a fair system for repossessing properties that protects tenants from unfair evictions whilst retaining the confidence of landlords to regain possession of their property where there is a legitimate need. The RLA says this needs to be coupled with a dedicated, housing court to settle disputes swifter and easier.

The plan says there should be support for vulnerable tenants which could be done by ending the Local Housing Allowance cap, stronger action against rogue landlords by providing councils with more resources to better use the powers they already have and a commitment to rejecting all forms of rent controls which serve only to dry up the supply of homes to rent, reducing choice for tenants and thereby increasing rents overall.

‘The new Conservative Prime Minister needs to reconsider the approach to the private rented sector. Otherwise the situation for tenants will just get worse as they face less choice and higher rents because of a growing shortage of properties,’ said David Smith, policy director at the RLA.

‘We need a raft of changes that will encourage more investment in high standard homes rather than efforts to scapegoat landlords for failures by successive governments to build enough homes,’ he added.

(c) Property Wire, July 2019

Investment in Build to Rent sector reaches a record high

Parliament Square Liverpool

Investment into the Build to Rent (BTR) sector in the UK reached a record high in 2018 with almost £4 billion of new funds allocated to a new analysis.

The research by Bidwells found almost two fifths of these transactions were forward funded as investors seek scale in key investment locations and the firm has indicated that the total funds committed over the past two years will reach up to £6 billion.

With the focus of investment in the year in the London market, accounting up to £1.6 billion of total funds committed, the South East and Eastern regions have revealed a further £417 million had been invested in the area.

When it comes to the residential market, the annual house price growth rose marginally in April to 0.9% from 0.7% in March, driven by the largest monthly increase in values since November 2018.

However, price growth remains weak despite a continued shortage of stock as both buyers and sellers choose to sit out the current political and economic uncertainty. This said, first time buyer activity continues to rise, assisted by Help to Buy, low mortgage rates and improved affordability.

Across the Oxbridge Growth Corridor, the report says that capital values for apartments in city centre locations generally remained stable in 2018. Highly accessible locations with quality city centre environments continue to record premiums. Recent evidence in the analysis underlines the positive impact of an improved town centre offer and the delivery of quality residential stock.

In all locations, values slip back sharply away from the city core, although this discount is particularly marked in Oxford and Cambridge. In the latter city, capital values are around £550 per square foot in the city fringe offering greater BTR opportunities for investors.

With the recently announced introduction of the East West Rail Route, it says that this presents long term opportunities in the Growth Corridor, providing locations along the route easy access to Cambridge, helping to address business concerns concerning the availability and affordability of housing.

Bedford, for example, will be within a half hour commute of the science and tech hub of Cambridge. However, new home capital values in the town currently stand less than half that those of the central Cambridge, while rents are amongst the most affordable across the Growth Corridor region at just 24% of average net incomes.

As always with new infrastructure, the investment impact takes time, but the commercial opportunity across the Growth Corridor region will quickly focus minds on future opportunity locations, it adds.

‘Given accelerating demand for globally mobile talent by knowledge based industries across the Oxbridge Growth Arc, we have seen growing investor demand across the region. Higher yield locations such as Bedford, with good access to the region’s universities and science parks, offer opportunities to investors, particularly given forthcoming transport infrastructure improvements,’ said Colin Summers, capital markets partner at Bidwells.

New research finds UK landlords are optimistic despite Brexit

The city centre is home to Liverpool's most prominent postcode.

Landlords in the UK are still optimistic about investing in property despite Brexit uncertainty with two thirds positive about investment growth and yields, new research shows.

Some 64% are optimistic about the outlook for the residential buy to let sector over the next three years and of this, 13% are very optimistic, according to research commissioned by specialist property lender Cambridge & Counties Bank.

Indeed, the survey also suggests that a significant number of landlords are using the current market volatility to grow their portfolios with 19% looking to grow their portfolios by a third and 11% want to double it over the next three years. Just 19% of landlords are looking to sell.

However, despite the strong level of optimism, Brexit remains a key uncertainty for property sector professionals 40% of landlords conceding that it is top of their list of concerns. Brexit is seen as a bigger risk than rising interest rates, cited by 32%, a lack of confidence in the stability of lenders at 32%, and rising levels of tax also 32%.

While the buy to let sector is viewed most positively, a similar number of landlords, some 61%, are equally optimistic about student accommodation in terms of growth with 16% being very optimistic. Office buildings and properties are viewed positively by 41% of respondents, although almost a third are not optimistic.

In addition to growing their property portfolios, a significant number of landlords say they will be refurbishing their buy to let and investment properties, with an average of £10,000 set to be spent. Some 11% said they would spend more than £20,000, with 4% forecasting they would invest more than £50,000 in their property.

‘In spite of Brexit worries, it is great to see that the overall outlook for the commercial property sector is one of optimism,’ said Simon Lindley, chief commercial director of Cambridge & Counties Bank.

(c) Property Wire, June 2019