Regeneration chiefs in Bolton have outlined plans for a year of 'activity' and investment throughout the borough.
Proposals for next year include the development of Crompton Place shopping centre; up to £70m of investment in Bolton and Farnworth town centres; and improvements to three other shopping destinations.
Crompton Place is set to be cleared next year, to make way for a £250m shopping, housing, and leisure complex, with council leader David Greenhalgh saying: "We deserve this project for our town."
Agreements have already been made with 66 of the 72 leaseholders or owners in the current centre to relocate or be compensated and arrangements have been made to compulsory purchase the remainder if needed.
Other boosts for the town centre include the borough's bid from the 'Towns Fund', with the council leader saying he will be, 'very, very surprised' if the application is unsuccessful.
In September 2019, Bolton was announced as one of the 101 towns eligible for support from the Government’s £3.6bn towns fund.
The fund intends to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic growth and Bolton should hear before the end of the year how much it will get.
Bolton has already received £1m in advance funding. If the Town Hall can convince government of the scheme’s value for money, the borough could have up to £25m allocated to it which will need to be spent by the end of March 2026.
Among the schemes which have been put forward in the plan are for The Wellness Centre to have a high-end spa and leisure facility next to the Le Mans Crescent hotel. This is intended to 'draw in day visitors'.
Another priority project is to improve pedestrian connections to the transport interchange, Le Mans Crescent and Newport Street.
A third scheme could see further extension and upgrade to Bolton’s Central Museum and Art Gallery to 'provide an improved destination and focal point to the civic quarter'.
Other bids for regeneration lodged with the government include another possible £25m from ‘high street’ funding and a £19m bid for Farnworth town centre.
Coun Martyn Cox, Bolton Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We've got three bids in with central government and if those are successful then we’re talking around £70m of investment.
"Next year will be a year of activity in Bolton town centre and Farnworth plus the other district centres, Horwich, Westhoughton and Little Lever. Those plans are virtually agreed now, just waiting to be signed off.
"You’re going to see regeneration right across the town. We may not get all the £25m, but all the indications are we’ll get a substantial part of it if not all.
"We have got this hurdle of Covid to get over but once we do get over it there’s an awful lot of activity planned not just in the town centres but districts centres as well."