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23 Feb 2022

Hulton Park plans: 'An opportunity not to be missed' say regional leaders

The development can help Level-Up the economy creating 1,000 jobs

Business, tourism and education leaders across the region have urged Bolton’s Planning Committee to maintain the Council’s support for a Bolton Ryder Cup, by approving Peel L&P’s transformational plans for a world-class international sport and healthy living destination to be created at Hulton Park in Bolton.

The revised proposals, which go before Bolton Council’s Planning Committee this week, would unlock £200m investment in restoring and transforming the historic estate.

Bolton is down to a shortlist of just two English venues to host The Ryder Cup – one of the world’s most prestigious and popular international events – in 2031.

Peel L&P’s plans, which have been improved after a major community consultation exercise last year, and which feature the recently launched Hulton Park Community Charter, would create new jobs, training opportunities and apprenticeships, delivering a social and economic impact of at least £1.6bn over the coming years.

Damian Waters, North West Director of the CBI
, the influential business group said: “Hosting The Ryder Cup at Hulton Park is a once-in a generation opportunity to transform the Bolton economy through the creation of a world-class sporting facility which would create1,000 jobs and deliver an incredible economic legacy.

“I note that Peel L&P have refined their plans for the better after local consultations and sincerely hope the application is approved this week as I believe Hulton Park could potentially be an exemplar project in the Levelling Up agenda.”

Professor George Holmes, President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Bolton added: “The University of Bolton wholeheartedly supports this initiative. It will bring prosperity to the town and much-needed national and international attention. It will also be particularly important for recruitment of students in the UK and abroad.

“We believe the proposal fits well with the University of Bolton Group’s wider strategy to help make Bolton a better place to live, study and work.

“We have game-changing plans involving a new School of Medicine that has commenced with postgraduate courses for medical doctors, as well as the Bolton College of Medical Sciences which is to be built in the grounds of the Royal Bolton Hospital.

"Through these exciting initiatives we will train the next generation of doctors and health professionals who will see this development as meeting their aspirations and complementing our strategy of creating long-term educational and health benefits for our community.”

Mike Blackburn, Chair of Marketing Manchester, the regional tourism agency, also backed the proposed investment: “This development represents a major contribution to the Greater Manchester economy by providing one of the leading golf resorts in Europe. This will add to Greater Manchester’s rich and diverse sporting assets by providing a venue capable of hosting The Ryder Cup.

“Winning The Ryder Cup bid to host this prestigious and world famous competition in 2031 would put Bolton on the map for international tourism and boost Greater Manchester’s visitor economy. It will also build upon Greater Manchester’s current position as the third highest visitor destination after London and Edinburgh served by the only hub airport outside London and the South East. Hosting the Ryder Cup would generate long term economic benefits of over £1.6bn to the UK economy, with the majority of this in the North West.

“We welcome the Hulton Park Development, as it will help to realise the vision for Greater Manchester through the benefits it will bring, not only to Bolton but to the whole city region.”

Hayley Lever, CEO of GreaterSport, the charity dedicated to changing lives through physical activity and sport in Greater Manchester added: “GreaterSport is pleased to support the proposed hosting of The Ryder Cup at Hulton Park.

“The outcomes identified within the proposal strongly align to our ‘Greater Manchester Moving’ vision, with the shared purpose to positively change the lives of people across Greater Manchester through physical activity and sport.

“The Hulton Park project, including the new Golf Academy, has the potential to make an impact on reducing inactivity and increasing engagement in physical activity and sport in people of all ages, while also creating more active and sustainable environments and communities.”

Richard Knight, Peel L&P’s Director of Planning & Strategy, said: “We are very pleased to see that some important organisations in Bolton, Greater Manchester and in the wider North West are seeing the transformational potential these plans offer Bolton and the regional economy.

“It’s now a very real and exciting prospect that the Ryder Cup will come to Bolton and approval of the proposals bring Bolton a big step closer towards delivering one of the world’s premier sporting events and more importantly delivering an incredible legacy for future generations.

“In partnership with members of the community and at the request of project partners including the Council, we have improved the original plans – which both the Council and Secretary of State have already approved– to deliver a better scheme, with multiple community facilities, such as a school, health and wellbeing hub, allotments, a village hall and a new link road to improve local transport.

“It would be the first time the park has been opened up to the public in its 700-year history and the park would be greatly enhanced under the proposals with over 15km of new and improved footpaths, cycleways and nature trails, plus a range of new community facilities. Doing nothing is not an option. Bolton needs to continue backing the bid to realise all these benefits.”

More about Hulton Park.