The UK Government has approved plans for a major new property development in Bolton... on the condition the town wins the rights to stage the Ryder Cup in either 2031 or 2035.
Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has given the green light to property company Peel L&P to build over 1,000 homes on Bolton's Hulton Park Estate, as well as a 142-bed room hotel and championship golf course.
The caveat, however, is that the town must be successful in its efforts to take the biennial battle between Europe and the USA to Lancashire
Rumours of a Bolton bid for the Ryder Cup first surfaced in 2016, when it was reported that Peel L&P - the developers of the Trafford Centre in Manchester - were targeting the rights to the 2026 match.
Adare Manor in Ireland was last year named as the host for that particular edition - since pushed back to 2027 because of the COVID-19 pandemic - but the 2031 and 2035 matches remain up for grabs.
Bolton Council had initially approved Peel's plans, despite hundreds of objections, but that decision was called in by Westminster because of the use of green belt land.
After much deliberation, the Government announced its support for the proposals earlier today.
"This decision allows us to move to the next stage of making the project a reality," said Richard Knight, Peel's director of land and communities, who described himself as "incredibly pleased" with the outcome.
Peel L&P assumed ownership of the historic Hulton Park Estate in 2010 and it has pledged to "create an iconic international golf destination" and will do so "in a sympathetic way which secures a lasting positive legacy".
It is unclear when a decision on the host venues for the 2031 and 2035 matches will be made. England last staged the Ryder Cup in 2002, when Sam Torrance's European side triumphed at The Belfry.