Middlebrook Masterplan Approved by Bolton Council

  • June 07, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/8eec3

A £100million redevelopment of Bolton Arena, the Reebok Stadium and surrounding property has been given the go-ahead by Bolton Council.

The Bolton Planning Committee met on Thursday afternoon to discuss a number of proposed developments in the town, one of which was the project dubbed the 'Middlebrook Masterplan'.

The first phase of the redevelopment is likely to be centred on the Bolton Wanderers Free School, which is due to open in September in a temporary location within the stadium. The Education Funding Agency is negotiating terms on a permanent site, currently understood to be next to the police station on the Middlebrook Retail Park, with an end goal of accommodating 400 students by Easter 2016.

The stadium's west stand will be extended and remodelled, allowing for greater capacity of matchday hospitality events - without impacting on the number of seats inside the ground itself. The area surrounding the Nat Lofthouse memorial statue will be affected, but the statue will remain in its current spot.

Bolton Arena is to get a new sports hall, while upgrades to the outside of the facility will see a full-size artificial football pitch laid down, as well as an improved running track and seven new floodlit pitches. A sports building will be built next to the Arena, incorporating a sports hall, tennis courts, an indoor football pitch and administrative facilities.

The car park located next to the north stand of the stadium, which is currently for disabled supporters, will be placed with a 'Grand Arc' development. This will open up space for residential uses, as well as restaurants, retail outlets, office space and a proposed 60-bed hotel - not connected to the Bolton Whites Hotel, currently located in the south stand.

£50,000 has been allocated to improve the nearby Beehive roundabout, with local residents and business owners expressing their concern over the extra traffic the developments would bring to the area.

A statement on the club's official website read: "The mutual business target for both Burnden (Leisure) and the (Bolton) Arena is continuing financial self-reliance and long-term sustainability, maximising development opportunities and community benefits through a combined approach."

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