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A former mill town, Bolton in Greater Manchester benefits from being close to the city, as well as a stone’s throw from the rolling Pennines. It has an interesting heritage in textile production, and during the early 20th century, its cotton mills made it one of the most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. Today, you can still spot many nods to the town’s past, but it a thoroughly modern place to live, with always lots going on.
According to a recent survey, Boltonians are some of the friendliest people in Britain. It has been the setting of numerous television dramas, as well as the birthplace of WBA World light-welterweight champion, Amir Khan. Bolton attracts visitors to its shopping centres, markets, public houses, restaurants and cafes, with tourism playing a part in the town’s economy. Notable tourist attractions include Bolton Steam Museum, Hall i’ th’ Wood manor house and Barrow Bridge model village to name a few. There are also several theatres in the town such as the Octagon Theatre, as well as the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, housing an impressive collection of local and international artwork.
Speaking of Bolton’s economy, in the last quarter of the 20th century, heavy industry has been replaced by service-based activities such as data processing, call centres, electronics and IT. That said, the town still retains some of its traditional industries, employing people in paper manufacturing, packaging, textiles, transportation, steel foundries and building materials. Reebok’s headquarters is located at the University of Bolton Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers Football Club, and the fifth-generation family bakers, Warburtons, is still going strong, having started life in 1876 on Blackburn Road.
Bolton is well-served by the local road network, with the A6 passing to the west, and the M61/M60 motorway is within easy reach. A network of local buses operates in the area, coordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester, and Bolton Railway Station runs services to Manchester, Wigan, Southport, Blackburn and beyond.
Bolton School, an independent day school, was founded in 1524 as a grammar school for boys. It has since merged with a free grammar school and Bolton Girls’ Day School. Other secondary schools include Canon Slade School, Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, Ladybridge High School, Sharples School, Smithills School, Thornleigh Salesian College and UTC Bolton, alongside the town’s university, which gained university status in 2005.
Last year, most property sales in Bolton involved terraced properties, which sold for an average of £105,082, with semi-detached properties selling for an average of £156,936, and detached properties fetching £282,714 – an overall average of £157,629, which is up 3 per cent on the previous year.
There are several regeneration projects planned for Bolton over the next 10 years, increasing its popularity for people looking to relocate in the near future.