The Bolton College of Medical Sciences

A collaboration between Bolton College, the University of Bolton, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton Council, The Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS) is a proposed state-of-the-art vocational/professional skills and training facility at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth, Bolton. It will transform the way that people are trained and employed in the healthcare sector across Greater Manchester, and enable Bolton to be a leader in the healthcare field.

BCMS will comprise teaching and learning space offering training and development opportunities to existing Bolton  NHS Foundation Trust staff and others seeking employment in the healthcare sector and will be the first development of its kind in Greater Manchester.

Community Consultation was carried out on the economic and cultural impact of BCMS on Bolton’s diverse community, including how it will help the town to create and sustain rewarding careers in clinical and medical healthcare and result in an improved level of care.

“BCMS will help to create and sustain rewarding careers in the clinical and medical health and social care sectors and provide a platform for further educational developments across the town. We really value the perspective of the wider community on the impact this facility could have, which is why we’re hosting this consultation.”
Dr Zubair Hanslot, Provost of the University of Bolton


Planning permission was granted in June 2019 for the designs which include a teaching and learning space, café, an associated staff and service space, and a dedicated multi-story car park. The new facilities will utilise the latest medical technology, with simulation suites and surgical and acute care environments. The 7,600sqm site is to be located at the Bolton NHS Trust hospital site in Farnworth. BCMS is expected to welcome its first intake in early 2023.

Developed on brownfield land, BCMS is projected to create over 20,000 apprenticeships over its lifetime and help train 60,000 medical professionals.

The University of Bolton and Bolton Council, with the support of local MPs and partners submitted a successful bid to the first round of the government’s Levelling Up Fund which will see a £20m contribution towards the building of the Bolton College of Medical Sciences (BCMS), the bid can be viewed below.


Who is it for?

BCMS will provide a new, state-of-the-art, training facility for existing and new hospital staff, giving local people a direct route into healthcare employment and existing hospital staff unrivalled training opportunities. It will see the introduction of a wide range of new Continuous Professional Development (CPD) provision and world-class clinical health and care training, for those who want to progress further in their careers.

The learning environment will utilise the latest technology to offer simulation suites, MRI scanning, radiology, surgical and acute care environments.

BCMS will offer vocational skills-based education, centred on the delivery of T-Levels (L1-2), end-point-assessment, CPD provision and apprenticeships, from L3-L7.

It will offer additional apprenticeships in:

  • Trainee Nurse Associates
  • Health Care support
  • Healthcare Science Technician
  • Assistant Practitioners
  • Physician Associates
  • Advanced Practitioners
  • Care Leadership & Management – Higher Apprenticeship

Why is it needed?

BCMS aims to address the skills gaps in healthcare and help future-proof the NHS workforce in Greater Manchester, and recruit from across the North West. By creating additional apprenticeships, training and jobs, it will alleviate staffing pressures and improve NHS healthcare. Existing staff will benefit from increased access to education and employment, with the state-of-the-art facilities located on site.

Learners will learn in a healthcare ‘culture’, gaining invaluable understanding of how an NHS site operates and the standards required of employees in that environment.

“We’re looking forward working with our partners to bring this fantastic facility to Bolton. Once open, the centre will help us train and develop both the future and our existing workforce right here on the Royal Bolton Hospital site, and will support us to continue providing high quality healthcare for all. ”
Annette Walker, Director of Finance at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust