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.
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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.