Creams Mill

Welcome to Creams Mill and Hall Lane. A timeless residential development on the canalside.

What's the plan?

This latest scheme from Watson will see the creation of almost 300 mixed-tenure, new-build properties for residents of Little Lever and Bolton.

Here, we’re asking for your feedback on this transformative project. We want to know your thoughts and questions, and we’ll advise where we can.

Built across three sites stretching along the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, from Hall Lane to Creams Mill, the complete works will provide residents with access to the very best that Little Lever has to offer.

As well as providing brand-new residential properties, the scheme will include the regeneration of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal. This will bring part of the canal back into use, with woodland and waterside walks for residents to enjoy.

The History of Creams Mill & Hall Lane

Creams Mill stood since 1677, and was run for many years as a paper mill by the Crompton Family.

Following changes in ownership and a few turbulent financial years, the mill opened an office on Cannon Street, Manchester in 1869. Creams Mill is situated close to Hall Lane, where there once stood an aqueduct which was demolished in the 1950s to make way for roadworks that would improve access for Little Lever’s growing community.

Many local people were left without jobs when the mill closed in 2004. Now, we want to reclaim the site for the people of Bolton and Little Lever, and give it back to the community as a residential development.

Situated close to the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, this has been disused since 1936.

Now, we’re hoping to breathe new life into canal with our Creams Mill and Hall Lane development, and make it a hub to enjoy for generations to come. 

Where is it?

The mill was set between the former Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal and the northern bank of the River Irwell.

Creams Mill was once a notable landmark of the Bolton skyline. Situated in the heart of Little Lever, close to Moses Gate Country Park and local shops and amenities, it’s the perfect spot for commuters, families and young professionals.

With several bus stops just a five-minute walk away, commuters can be in Manchester city centre in under an hour – or 30 minutes by car. The area is readily connected for work, as well as shopping trips and days out in Bolton and beyond.

The Creams Mill site is also just across the road from a convenient superstore, as well as the smaller shops, bars and restaurants Little Lever has to offer.

The Project

Following the mill’s demolition after its 2004 closure, Watson saw its potential, and secured the site earlier this year. On the back of strong pre-existing relationships, they brought the site to discussions with trusted housing associations Great Places and Bolton at Home, with plans to create affordable homes for local residents.

Since then, in partnership with P4 Planning and TADW Architects, Watson has been working to deliver a housing plan focussed on the people of Little Lever and Bolton.

Project Summary

  • Almost 300 homes of two- and three-bedrooms
  • Spacious living areas including living room, kitchen and bathrooms
  • Garden space perfect for families
  • Shared ownership designs
  • Designated parking
  • Properties will feature the incorporation of air source cylinders to produce hot water, and PV panels to generate electricity, reducing costs to residents and minimising the overall environmental impact of the build
  • Creation of brand-new public spaces and woodland walkways alongside a revitalised Manchester, Bolton Bury Canal
  • Regeneration of the canal for public use
  • Extending the bridge at Creams Mill to make access for transport easier
  • Access to major transport links and easy journeys to Manchester city centre, Bolton and Bury

The Proposal

Watson is aiming to deliver a mixed tenure of affordable one-, two-, three- and four- bedroom apartments and houses on the old Creams Mill and Hall Lane sites. These will include garden spaces, parking areas and the complete regeneration of the currently disused Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal for public enjoyment.

The Details

Reparations & Design

Watson plans to invest in reparations and design, including a new pedestrian and road bridge at Creams Mill, to improve transport access and make the area a hub of leisure activities, including canoeing, walking and cycling. These aspirations closely align with the long-term vision of the Canal and River Trust, which hopes to one day introduce a visitor centre to the site, where people can learn more about this historic Bolton landmark.

Offering almost 300 properties in total, across three separate sites, the community-centric design is spacious and enclosed, providing residents with a safe, secure neighbourhood feel.

Affordable Options

This project is being carried out in partnership with Great Places and Bolton at Home, two local housing associations which prioritise giving people quality houses that don’t cost the earth.

Next Steps

Your Input

The Creams Mill and Hall Lane public consultation concluded on Friday 9th October 2020 – we’d like to thank everyone for their feedback.

What’s Next?

We are now in the process of finalising a formal planning application, which we hope to make to Bolton Council in Q4 2020.

Be in the know

Be sure to follow this website for more updates. If you have any further queries, please contact [email protected] or call 0161 241 8787.

Who's Watson?

We're Manchester's friendly neighbourhood builders.

We’re raising the bar for quality, both in our buildings —and in the lives of the people who live in them.

With projects spanning Bolton, Salford and across Greater Manchester, we’re happy to go the extra mile to give local people, quality, affordable housing.


This website will be updated regularly with new information as the development progresses and you will be able to register your interest. In the meantime, please follow our social media channels for updates