Huge new food hall proposed for Bolton town centre as part of plans for major refurbishment of market hall

Plans for a major refurbishment of Bolton’s market have been unveiledPlans for a major refurbishment of Bolton’s market have been unveiled
Plans for a major refurbishment of Bolton’s market have been unveiled
The council has published the plans, which aim to bring people into the town centre in the early evening to eat.

A new food hall and other proposed improvements at Bolton market hall hopes to attract early evening diners and increase visits to the town centre by 800,000 a year.

Plans have been published by Bolton Council for the food court extension and a general refurbishment of the building.

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Last December, Bolton was successfully offered up to £22.9m of funding from central government’s Towns Fund to help regenerate the town centre.

The council has said the priority for investment will be concentrated on Cheadle Square, the area between Bolton Town Hall and Moor Lane, which they describe as a ‘key intervention area’.

What are the plans for the food court and why is it being suggested?

The plans show the food court will have nine food and drink stalls and have both indoor and outdoor seating. The design includes a large rooflight to the new internal seating area which along with curtain walls to both the east and west walls will provide ‘a light and airy feel’.

An external colonnade will provide cover to the outdoor seating area and can be closed off at night with scissor gates to store external furniture. The design statement said the new outdoor market would have one additional pitch than now and have a layout more favourable to traders.

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A diagram of the west elevation of the market hallA diagram of the west elevation of the market hall
A diagram of the west elevation of the market hall

The council said it wished to improve Bolton Market’s performance in four ways, the first being ts perception in the eyes of Bolton’s residents as’ a culturally and historically significant space for shopping, eating, drinking, socialising and working’.

It added that the market also had potential to beneficially impact the wider town centre, to increase footfall numbers and act as a connecting point between the town centre and The University of Bolton and Bolton Sixth Form College.

A planning decision on the application will be made in the coming weeks.

What has the council said about its plans?

A statement prepared in support of the plans has been published on behalf of the council.

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It states: “The council’s vision for Bolton Market is to expand and diversify the current offer while supporting the market’s role as a community meeting place.

“This will require a general refurbishment of the building and external areas, as well as the delivery of new uses including a food court.

“It is the council’s ambition that a comprehensive upgrade will lengthen the trading day and week, attract a wider demographic of customers, and contribute to higher levels of town centre footfall.

“The key stated objectives of the council are to attract new town centre footfall from 2.28m per year in February 2020 to 3m plus per year.

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“To be a focal point of Bolton’s cultural heritage and to improve the early evening food and drink offer.

“The development will expand the offer to appeal to younger people, also to create more flexibility in the use of space and provide an opportunity to support local supply chains, and local independent businesses.”

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