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About Bolton

One of the largest towns in Europe, Bolton is also renowned across the UK as one of the friendliest places.

The warmth and 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 projected to exceed 300,000 by 2025 – and provide a modern, well-connected base for a diverse range of employers and residents.

Economy and Employment

Bolton’s economic output is worth £4.6bn in its own right, and it forms an important part of Greater Manchester – the UK’s largest economy outside London. It’s home to 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. Bolton also takes in Middlebrook, the largest leisure and retail complex in Europe, covering an expanse of 80 hectares and serving as the location of Bolton Wanderers FC, one of the oldest football clubs in the world. The town itself is a major shopping destination for North West England, with the jewel in the crown being the Market Place – a Victorian former market hall that has recently undergone a £27m transformation to create a buzzing retail and leisure destination. Like all major urban centres, its success revolves around an ability to offer a wide range of reasons to visit: from major high street retailers and popular restaurant brands to sports facilities and cultural attractions. The town centre masterplan is designed to bring even greater diversity to that mix.

"One of the advantages Bolton has over other large towns and cities is how well connected the public, private and charitable sectors are. Partnership working and collaboration are over-used buzzwords, but they seem very natural here in Bolton. That lends itself well to building relationships and seeking out opportunities."

Education

Located in the heart of the town, the University of Bolton is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in the UK.

It’s also a major player in the regeneration of the town centre, with world class facilities: a £31m health, leisure and research centre (developed in partnership with Bolton Council and NHS Bolton), a new business school and a law school.

The Institute of Management is based in Bolton Central — new Grade A offices adjacent to the £50m transport interchange.

The University’s £13m National Centre for Motorsport Engineering opened in 2017 to drive forward the evolution of motorsport education and to house the Centre for Advanced Performance Engineering.

Further projects are in the pipeline as part of a long-term programme of investment, including a £40m hall of residence in the town centre to accommodate a growing population, which already numbers 13,000 students.

The University, Bolton College and Bolton Sixth Form College are co-located in a £90m Education Zone. They recently formed a partnership to create one of the largest education providers in the country and are an important part of the town’s Innovation Zone.

Culture

Bolton’s cultural assets are playing a key role in the town’s renaissance.
The grade II* listed Albert Halls has undergone an award-winning £6.5m refurbishment that has created a modern, multi-purpose venue within a much-loved, historic landmark.

Another award-winning attraction, the Octagon Theatre, is currently seeing the biggest redevelopment in its 50-year history with a £10m investment that will increase its capacity and make it more accessible.

The £3.8m redevelopment of Bolton Museum will create a new Egyptology gallery and international visitor attraction when it opens in Autumn 2018. The museum’s extensive array of artefacts from Ancient Egypt has made it a magnet for experts from all over the world for many years. The collection will be brought to life with visitors taken on a journey that animates life in Ancient Egypt – culminating in full size reproduction of a pharaoh’s tomb.

Bolton also hosts an extensive range of cultural events throughout the year.

This includes Bolton Food and Drink Festival, which has been running for 12 years and is the largest of its kind in the North West, attracting more than 250,000 people over August Bank Holiday weekend.

The town has hosted the Ironman UK race for nine years, which has now become the 4th largest in Europe. It is also the venue for the world’s largest Ironkids race. Both events, held in July, draw thousands of visitors.