Originally designed and opened in 1855, the Bolton Market Hall was said to be ‘the largest covered market in the kingdom.’ The Market Hall was modified with structural alterations, and was reopened as Market Place Shopping Centre by Queen Elizabeth ll in 1988.
Fast-forward to today, the Centre has undergone a transformational, two year, £25million refurbishment to create a contemporary retail and leisure destination in the heart of Bolton. The original Victorian Vaults have been restored and imaginatively opened in 2016 as a destination space, with retail, restaurant spaces and a state-of-the-art Cinema, The Light.
The centre is the catalyst for Bolton’s increasing leisure and night time economy, recently winning the Best Large Commercial Building category at this year’s Local Authority Building Control (LABC) North West Awards and the Revo (British Council of Shopping Centres) Gold Award for Refurbishment and Extensions (Over £5 million) in 2016.
Market Place has been recognised as a trail-blazer in the industry, being the first UK shopping centre to hold a mannequin challenge. Building on the international phenomenon that swept the globe in late 2016, the centre managed to bring a unique Bolton interpretation to the social media craze. The event was filmed and the video managed to showcase every corner of the centre and involved a remarkable 100% of the tenants. The video went viral achieving record results for the centre – and all for an outlay of just £50.
This campaign was multi award-winning, scooping some of the most prestigious marketing awards in the world, including a Revo Purple Apple Award and iconic Golden Apple Award in May 2017 . The centre is now in the running for the Best-of-the-Best Award at the 2018 ICSC Global Awards in May. Market Place was also the only UK winner at the ICSC Solal Marketing Awards in June 2017, taking Gold for the Mannequin Challenge.
Nikki Wilson-Cook, Centre Manager at Market Place, also won Manager of the Year (for a medium-sized centre) at the Sceptre Awards in June 2017 which was a fantastic achievement.
Around every corner in The Vaults you will stumble across stunning architecture and artwork. Local and international artists have contributed to the work. Make sure you keep an eye out next time you visit and let us know your favourites.
The building has stone façades, a cast iron and glass roof and is a Grade II listed building. Originally a single space with table stalls and blank elevations, it was modified, in the 1890s, 1930s and 1980s.
After consultation the council awarded planning permission and listed building consent in 2005. English Heritage and the local council’s conservation officer were involved in the proposals. The completed Market Place opened in October 2008.
Market Place Shopping Centre is a leading business in Bolton and recognises its responsibilities within the local community. By working closely alongside other businesses and communities in Bolton, Market Place aims to contribute to improving the locality for everyone. In essence, Market Place Shopping Centre aims to: