When Warner Estate purchased Market Place, the Market Hall was having a negative impact on the adjacent shopping centre and the surrounding streets; it was an underperforming asset for the Council (the freeholder). Sensitive adaptation, including retail units for high street retailers (which the Victorian buildings in the rest of the town centre could not readily accommodate), was needed to provide a viable future, and to help Bolton compete with Manchester’s major shopping centres.
Designed by GT Robinson in 1855, Bolton Market Hall was then the largest covered market in the country. It was redeveloped at the end of the 19th century and again in the 1930s. In the 1980s Chapman Taylor designed a large shopping mall (Market Place) to the north, incorporating the Hall and adding small kiosk shops within it.
The motivation for the project was both commercial and regenerative, with the restored facades intended to enhance the experience of the town centre. Chapman Taylor, acting as client advisor to Warner Estate, got us involved in the limited competition in 2003, which we won.