Bolton Central, Bolton
This site became available following a land assembly exercise undertaken by Bolton Council to create a site for the construction of a new transport interchange joining the current rail station with a new bus station and creating a new link with the town centre. The high profile plot was taken to market but failed to attract any bidders due to difficulties with viability for commercial uses.
Linked to a broader project running within the partnership, capital was available to invest in property projects on the basis that they could generate a revenue stream. As a result it was agreed to develop a new office building on a speculative basis; the first in the centre of Bolton for many years.
The partnership prepared designs and a specification for a new Grade A office building of 28,000 sq ft and tendered the construction works. During construction, the site attracted significant interest and a pre-let deal was agreed prior to completion. The building is now let on a long lease to Bolton University who have opened a new business school there.
The impact of the delivery of this building is substantial. First and foremost, the impact of having such a high profile site left undeveloped would have been highly negative. Conversely, the investment made has resulted in other property owners in the area preparing proposals for their own buildings, bringing a ripple effect of re-development. The new footfall and transformation of the public realm has significantly improved this part of the town centre.
Lastly, and importantly, the revenue stream secured for the council is robust and long-term and fully justified the decision to proceed with the scheme.