Construction, Regeneration

Bolton Library refurbishment

Partner: Bolton Council
Project value: £4.4m gross project sum
Completion: 2024

Bolton Central Library has undergone a £4.4m restoration and refurbishment to provide new creative and cultural spaces that modernise and adapt the building to meet changing user requirements and serve the wider needs of the community.

Strategic partnership to benefit Bolton

Through a strategic partnership with Bolton Council, Clear Futures ensured the project met their requirements, provided value for money, and was delivered within programme and budget. 

Clear Futures supported the Council in securing Levelling Up funding and procured a Tier 1 contractor. Acting on behalf of the Council, Clear Futures managed the development of the designs, cost plan and program during preconstruction; as well as managing the construction phase, and co-ordinating practical completion and handover activities.

Transformational works to respect heritage

The transformation, carried out by Robertson Construction North West has seen the Library refurbished to its original splendour.

Built in the 1930’s and part of the wider Bolton Museum, Archives and Aquarium, the parquet floor has been returned to its former glory, with new period lighting and decoration reflecting to its heritage background.

Works also included: 

  • new digital facilities,
  • fully equipped café and a refurbished seating area with bespoke joinery,
  • children and young people’s library space with dedicated areas according to age,
  • Changing Places facility,
  • and additional mezzanine floor.

Delivering improved outcomes

Bolton Library’s new modern space has been designed  to build on the core deliverables of book borrowing and computer use, while offering flexible space for a wide variety of organisations like community groups, businesses, artists, performers and others.

It will increase long-term life opportunities for residents by embedding health, digital skills and reader development as part of its operational business plan.

Significantly more footfall is expected, and people’s perceptions of the town centre are rising. The library service has already seen a dramatic increase in usage since reopening, with new and old visitors being attracted from a wider demographic. The new café area is supporting footfall not just to the library, but to the museum and aquarium as well, and is becoming a focal meeting point for local people and visitors.

Social value integrated

social value delivered
87 weeks
training opportunities
17 local people

Tier 1 contractor Robertson drove social value activities that were designed to meet the needs of the local community, including:

  • 17 people employed locally,
  • 87 weeks Training opportunities,
  • £5,000 of community support,
  • 154 hours educational sessions
  • Neighbourhood community project

Benefits for people and place

The transformational change of Bolton Library will now make a huge contribution to people and place, providing inspiration and entertainment that promotes interaction and cohesion, to attract both new and repeat visitors from a wide range of demographics and socio-economic backgrounds.

Regeneration is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about improving the lives of our residents by offering better services, experiences, and opportunities. The newly renovated Bolton Library is a perfect example of this, creating a modern, versatile, and welcoming space that offers something for all ages.

Cllr Akhtar Zaman, Deputy Leader, Bolton Council
New opportunity for the local community of Bolton
Construction, Regeneration

Bolton Market extension and refurbishment

Partner: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
Project value: £4.2m (contract value)
Completion: 2023

Bolton Market has benefited from an extension and partial refurbishment to create a new food hall to house independent traders. It now offers a wider variety of stalls, appealing to younger shoppers and creating a space where people can meet and socialise in the evenings, which previously was not an option in the area.

This project will help improve the area for local people. The ultimate aim is to increase both the number of visitors and the amount of time they spend there. Designed to bring the community together.

Keeping the market operational throughout

Seddon endeavoured to make sure all 150 existing vendors could continue to trade at the market as live works continued on site for a 12-month period. Maintaining operation was made possible through the good relationships Seddon has with Clear Futures, the local council and the market manager. Teamwork and collaboration were key to the completion of this project.

A three-phase project

Works on Bolton Market were completed across three phases:

  • Phase 1 – construction of the outdoor market
  • Phase 2 – construction of new food hall extension
  • Phase 3 – partial refurbishment works on the market including new entrance areas, external signage , internal lighting, fire alarms and redecoration.
social value delivered
MSME spend
local people employed

Seddon drove social value activities that were specifically targeted to provide impact needed in the local community. Of the £1.325m delivered, here are some highlights:

  • 32 weeks of training opportunities for local people
  • 30 hours supporting unemployed people into work
  • 185 volunteering hours provided to support local community projects
  • 151 employees from MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) given access to wellbeing programmes
  • 29 hours of expert business advice provided to VCSEs (voluntary and community sector enterprises) and MSMEs
  • 15 local people for the duration of the contract
  • £10k of community support

Delivering improved options for local people

The 48-week programme comprised of a new outdoor market, and partial refurbishment to create a new food hall to house independent food vendors and seating for members of the public in Bolton. This will give a variety of new and diverse food options to choose from in a space designed to bring together the community. Existing traders were overjoyed with the new facility and said the overall experience was extremely positive.

  • 150 market vendors, all maintained operation throughout
  • Bolton Market is a hub of the community
  • Teamwork and collaboration were key
  • New opportunity for local community
  • Delivered on time and in budget

Bolton’s award-winning market is one of our best town centre assets, offering quality local products at great prices. As we modernise the town centre, we want the market to adapt to meet the changing needs of customers. Having more people living in the town centre will make it a more vibrant and attractive place .

– Councillor Martyn Cox, Leader of Bolton Council

Working in partnership with Clear Futures

Seddon is a Tier 1 contractor appointed to Bolton’ Council’s strategic partnership with Clear Futures. A key aim of the partnership is to generate value to the local economy. Seddon is a Bolton-based business, and a significant number of the workforce on this project are based within the Bolton postcode, which meant they had a sense of pride in completing the project.

Building a prosperous future for Bolton through transformative town centre regeneration.
Advisory services, Regeneration

A £22m boost for Bolton’s levelling up ambitions

Partner: Bolton Council

Bolton, like many other towns across the UK, continues to face tough challenges. Despite this, the town remains resilient in its determination to drive positive change and create new opportunities for communities.

Bolton Council has ambitions to boost the town centre’s role as a key player in the Greater Manchester economy. This is coupled with a wider aspiration to attract more high-growth companies that will create the additional jobs, knowledge, skills and technology needed to compete in a global economy.


In the year that followed central government’s launch of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, the country faced a whole new set of challenges that few people could have predicted. Towns and their communities were at the forefront of the national response to COVID-19, showing great adaptability and resilience in the fight against the pandemic.

Central government wanted to kick-start the economy quickly, providing financial support through the Towns Fund. Such investment meant submitting a robust proposal, including: resilient town centre investment plans, heads of terms documents, detailed project business cases, outline designs, commercial investment models and benefits realisation plans.

Working in strategic partnership, Clear Futures brings the additional capabilities Bolton Council needs to secure funding and deliver schemes that underpin the town’s regeneration ambitions.

Contact Clear Futures for more on strategic partnerships.

Project outcomes

investment from the Town Fund
regeneration projects supported


Given the time constraints and resource challenge due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, few local authorities had the capabilities to develop a strong proposal without some external support.

Through our strategic partnership, Bolton Council turned to Clear Futures. Working with the council’s regeneration team, we quickly and efficiently evaluated their needs, and engaged several specialist consultants to provide project management and quantity surveying expertise. We also boosted the capacity of the council’s team, bringing additional Clear Futures resource to drive through the complex programme and submit a strong and timely proposal to central government.


Out of the 101 towns invited to submit proposals for part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, only 43 were successful – including Bolton who secured £22.9 million to invest in four key town centre regeneration schemes.

The success of the proposal results from the council and its partners engaging and collaborating with residents, MPs and private and public sector partners, and reinforces a collective ambition and commitment to regenerating Bolton’s town centre.