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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.