Leading and award-winning build-to-rent provider Placefirst has broken ground at its new £35m neighbourhood in Bolton town centre.
Central Street will deliver 167 new high quality, sustainable homes for long-term private rent; a mixture of apartments and townhouses located opposite the former Beales department store and extending to the River Croal.
To mark the milestone, key members of the Placefirst project team were joined by the Leader of Bolton Council at the site.
Placefirst has worked alongside award winning architects Levitt Bernstein and landscape architects CW Studio to design a scheme which will transform the 1.1 hectare brownfield site previously occupied by vacant buildings and a car park, into a vibrant new neighbourhood with communal green areas and pedestrian-led spaces.
The design process has been supported by engineers Alan Johnston Partnership, quantity surveyors Walker Sime, project managers Mackie Project Consultants, and monitoring and evaluation consultants Hoare Lea. The legal team for the scheme consists of Gunnercooke and Hill Dickinson.
Caddick Construction have been appointed as Placefirst’s construction partner for the first phase of works.
The neighbourhood has been designed around a network of pedestrian priority streets, a spacious square and courtyards. The scheme will also deliver a range of ground floor units to expand the amount of commercial space available to local businesses.
Placefirst’s commitment to placemaking and social value is showcased through repurposing the brownfield site into much needed high-quality rental homes with good public realm and features including rooftop terraces and resident gardens. The site is well connected, being in the heart of the town centre and within walking distance of the River Croal and Queen’s Park, and suburbs across Bolton. The surrounding areas are easily accessible from the nearby bus interchange and train station.
The development is part of Bolton Council’s £1bn masterplan to transform the town centre by complementing the historic fabric of central Bolton through a mix of interesting, high quality buildings and well thought-out public spaces.
Placefirst’s work at Central Street builds on its strong track record of creating thriving communities in the north west of England which includes the iconic Welsh Streets in Liverpool and the Elevate apartment scheme in Manchester.
Once complete, Placefirst will remain on site and be responsible for every aspect of the neighbourhood. Each Placefirst development has a dedicated resident services manager and residents are guaranteed a fully maintained, high-quality home for as long as they like.
Darran Lawless, development director at Placefirst commented: “We are delighted to commence work on this key regeneration project in the heart of Bolton town centre. This will be a significant development delivering 167 high quality, energy-efficient homes, built specifically for the private rental market.
“Addressing the shortage of high quality available rental housing is a key part of Bolton Council’s masterplan and we are proud to be part of this, creating a new community that will have a positive impact on the local area and local economy. We look forward to bringing this new neighbourhood to life.”
Bolton Council Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “Central Street is a perfect example of what we are delivering through our town centre masterplan.
“Without the intervention of the council, this area would have remained an underused brownfield site.
“But by working with our partners at Placefirst it will become a new neighbourhood of high-quality homes that will attract people into the centre and make it a more vibrant and attractive place.
“This is an exciting time for Bolton town centre as work is now underway at a number of key sites with more projects to come later in the year.”
Ian Threadgold, Managing Director of Caddick Construction in the North West commented: “There is huge demand for high quality new homes and Placefirst is leading the region by bringing to market this exciting new development, transforming brownfield land into a vibrant hub for Bolton. We are very proud to have been selected as Placefirst’s construction partner for the first phase of works and we look forward to helping to deliver these exceptional new homes for local families and the wider community.”
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