About Bolton

One of the largest towns in Europe, Bolton’s a place as famous for the warmth and character of local people as it is for its proud industrial heritage. The warm welcome visitors receive from local people – aka Boltonians – is a major factor in the town’s success as a place to do business, live, study and visit. Bolton is building on its rich industrial and cultural heritage to meet the needs of a growing population – currently 280,000 and provide a modern, well-connected base for a diverse range of employers and residents.


Bolton means business and our thriving business base is central to the continued success and resilience of the Bolton economy. The Bolton economic plan is bursting with ambition to make the most of our strengths and assets – people, communities, businesses, institutions, location and the physical environment.

Bolton’s economic output is worth £4.4bn and forms an important part of Greater Manchester. Recent success stories shows Bolton’s commitment to economic prosperity. Recent examples include:

  • Logistics North – the biggest development of its kind in the North of England and a distribution hub for major international names including MBDA, Aldi, Lidl, Amazon and Whistl.
  • Market Place has undergone a £27m transformation to create a buzzing retail and leisure destination.

The town centre masterplan is designed to bring even greater diversity to that mix. By continuing our focus on the link between sound economic strategies and long-term community benefits, we can truly start to narrow the gap and secure prosperity for all.



Bolton’s cultural assets are playing a key role in the town’s plans for the future. Our town is a culture lover’s dream, not only has it recently invested heavily in culture across the town centre it is also host to an extensive range of high profile cultural events.

Substantial investment is ensuring the town’s culture is an economic and social driving force. It includes £6.5m Albert Halls refurbishment, a world class museum and art gallery including the new Egyptology gallery which has attracted over 526,000 visitors. The latest £11m redevelopment of The Octagon Theatre will increase capacity and accessibility.

Bolton events include:

  • Bolton Food and Drink Festival – over 400,000 visitors in 2019 with celebrity chefs such as James Martin.
  • IRONMAN UK, hosted for 11 years, attracting 2,500 competitors from 42 countries.
  • Rugby League World Cup 2021, The University of Bolton Stadium is hosting an England game and a Quarter Final.

The culture and leisure offer has a vital role to play in the health and wellbeing of the community, as well as being a strong attractor for homebuyers, visitors and investors. Find out more about what Bolton offers visit www.visitbolton.com

“The University of Bolton and the council enjoy a strong, positive relationship. The universities strategic vision includes building on its already major contribution to the town economic development while continuing its active role in the Bolton community.”
Professor George Holmes DL-Vice Chancellor, University of Bolton


Bolton’s key sector strengths include manufacturing & logistics; professional services; creative and digital industries; retail and leisure; construction; science and R&D; and green technology. These are closely aligned with GM’s key sectors.

The Masterplan offers both the floorspace and the environment with which to attract key businesses. Trinity Quarter and Crompton Place include significant additional floorspace of modern fit for purpose employment space and with immediate proximity to the new transport interchange.

The town has a talented and ambitious workforce, with the 2nd highest employee base in Greater Manchester including a 40% high skilled workforce. An established Team Bolton Partnership brings together partners– public organisations, private companies, voluntary and community groups who work together to make sure all residents have access to current training, skills and employment opportunities. Meaning businesses will have the staff and support at its fingertips from the very beginning.

Business Bolton is a fantastic responsive service that offers free employment, skills and engagement support to help businesses gain access to the right staff for their workforce. and the support they need to grow and develop. They work with a range of partners and business support agencies across GM including th Business Growth Hub and GM Chamber of Commerce.

Bolton Employment


The University of Bolton is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in the UK. Recognised nationally for its teaching excellence, it benefits from the latest world class facilities of a £31m health, leisure and research centre, £13m National Centre for Motorsport Engineering, a new business school and a law school.

The University scores number one in the North West and 2nd place in England for student satisfaction by the Complete University, and this growing reputation coupled with significant investment in the campus will support the target 20,000 population that they are aiming to achieve.

A £90m Education Zone made up of the University, Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College has created one of the largest education providers in the country.

Increasingly, businesses are growing out of the university based on high-quality research and innovation – we have an infrastructure in place which nurtures and supports these businesses to provide high-quality jobs for our residents, attract and retain new talent and provide the opportunity to connect academic study and research to business start-up, expansion and growth.


We are firmly on the map for business with only 15-minute train journey to Manchester city centre. Bolton is well connected and is one of the largest towns in the Greater Manchester, situated 12 miles from Manchester City Centre and 20 miles from Manchester Airport with direct rail connections to both. With advantageous linkages to major road networks, and 60% of UK businesses within a two hour drive.

Bolton has benefitted from continued investment in infrastructure including the £50m transport interchange, the investment in electrification and additional trains. This commitment to enhance transport connections improves commuting for people to work, live and enjoy Bolton, as well as attracting new residents, businesses, visitors and students by providing good links with visitor attractions, employment sites and places of learning.

Bolton submitted a bid to be the new location for the Great British Railway Headquarters in March 2022, this can be accessed below. 

Enhancing transport connectivity is key to enable a town to thrive and Bolton’s excellent transport provides access to markets, knowledge and skills that will help our local economy to grow further, faster and sustainably. Alongside the physical connections, our fast digital infrastructure means that businesses and individuals are connected to people, communities and opportunities worldwide.

Bolton Interchange


Town centres across the UK are changing, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and so are we. There are over 9,200 businesses in Bolton, ranging from thousands of micro employers to hundreds of major ones, and this will be strengthened by supporting business to set up and grow; attracting investment and supporting resilience.

Our plans for a new Digital City, Blackhorse street, seeks to support a regeneration area to the south of the Town Centre, focussing on the creation of a cutting edge digital community and become a hub for businesses and people to thrive.

Business Support
Partnership is key to driving Bolton’s innovation, together with the Greater Manchester Growth Hub, we work with ambitious Bolton enterprises to develop and reach their full potential. The strong Team Bolton Partnership approach gives employers in Bolton opportunity to pledge their support to local people and business through recruitment and supply chain partnerships and develop a responsive education and skills system.

The Market Place