Bolton Wanderers FC have unveiled ambitious plans to build a massive £100m sport, education and office development next to Reebok Stadium.
The proposals for the ‘Middlebrook masterplan’ as it is referred to, include not only Reebok Stadium but also Bolton Arena and surrounding land, and are a joint enterprise between Burnden Leisure, the company that owns the Wanderers, and Bolton Arena Trust, which runs the Arena.
The scheme includes plans for a free school run by the Wanderers, which, it is thought, would be the first school in England run by a football club outside the Premier League.
The plans are described by the developers as “a major regional sports and education centre”, and also feature seven-storey office buildings, new football pitches and expansion of the stadium’s west stand.
The Middlebrook masterplan includes:
- An upgraded and reconfigured arena building for full-time sports academy use, with accommodation for up to 500 students.
- The construction of a new 105m sports building linked to Bolton Arena, which would house sports halls, tennis courts, changing facilities, administration, indoor football pitch and viewing lounge.
- Upgrades to sports facilities at Bolton Arena, including improvements to the running track, an artificial match pitch, and new floodlit five-a-side pitches.
- A new five-storey, 5,000sqm education building to the south of Burnden Way, which could house a free school and sports academy.
- Restructuring and expansion of Reebok Stadium’s west stand to provide up to 3,000sqm of accommodation, with new hospitality areas and administration facilities.
- Up to 29,000sqm of commercial and office accommodation in a “grand arc” of seven-storey buildings on land next to the Reebok’s north stand.
Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside said:
In 1996, the Club’s then board had the vision to build the Reebok Stadium with its integrated hotel, conference and office facilities. Now we are adding to that vision with the exciting proposals that we have outlined.
A seperate scheme is also being developed that includes upgraded facilities, including a new pavilion at the Bolton Wanderers academy site in Ox Hey Lane, Lostock.
The masterplan proposals are still in their early stages, but a formal planning application is expected to be submitted soon.
Bolton Arena is owned by Bolton Council but is run by the not-for-profit community organisation, the Bolton Arena Trust.
Bolton Arena’s Managing Director Paul Bartle said:
The long term increases in our usage over the years have placed increasing demands on our facilities. It has for some time been our strategy to look for opportunities to further enhance those facilities and offer Bolton and the North West world-class facilities, programmes and events that inspire people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to follow a lifelong passion for sport and healthy activities.
This scheme expands and upgrades the existing facilities at Bolton Arena, and proposes a regional sports hub for both elite and community sports users, combined with modern, sports-led education provision.
The plans will be presented to the public at an exhibition at Bolton Arena’s reception area on Thursday, November 15, from 2-7pm, where visitors will also have the chance to quiz the design team.
Source: The Bolton News