The extension to the Market Place shopping centre in Bolton opened last week, bringing an extra 96,415 sq ft (8,955 sq m) of retail space and new retailers to the city centre.

The landlord, Agora Shopping Centres Fund – through property manager Warner Estate – has spent£40 million building the extension and linking it with the existing centre.

It has redeveloped the Victorian market hall, which sat next to the existing shopping centre, in a project that has taken just under three years.

With the additional space, the new centre covers 430,000 sq ft (39,945 sq m).

Retailers signed to the space include H&M, Zara, Warehouse, Principles, Office and Joy – all of which are new to Bolton – as well as Jane Norman and Oasis.

The existing centre is anchored by Debenhams and is also home to Next, River Island and JD Sports.

Warner Estate senior development manager Kevin Leaver said: “A lot of towns around Bolton, like Wigan, Warrington and Bury, have invested or are planning big investment in the near future. This was the right time for Bolton. Bolton has suffered many years of not getting investment.”

One of the city’s main problems that Market Place is designed to combat is the outflow of shoppers from Bolton, according to Leaver. “People on the street were saying: ‘We want fashion’ and we believe we’ve brought that,” he said.

The extension ties in with a wave of investment by Bolton City Council. Bolton City Council director of development and regeneration Keith Davies said: “We’ve got£1.2 billion worth of investment coming into Bolton. Market Place is going to have a really positive effect on our position in the retail ranking. We’ve done well to hold our position given the lack of investment and we still need to grow our retail capacity.”

Warner Estate has appointed Tushingham Moore and CB Richard Ellis as joint agents on the scheme, which is about 80 per cent let.