BOLTON Council chiefs have expressed their “distress” after reports of sexual abuse at school which was opened as a joint venture with neighbouring authorities in the 1960s.

A Bolton man has made claims he was sexually assaulted during his five years at the Knowl View residential home in Rochdale as a boy.

Although Greater Manchester Police has no record of an official complaint from the Bolton man, who has spoken to the BBC about his allegations.

The school first opened in 1969 for vulnerable boys as a joint venture between councils in Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale and Lancashire.

It closed in 1995.

GMP officers are working with Lancashire Police and Rochdale Council to investigate abuse allegations of abuse from staff and adults at Knowl View school.

Bolton Council chief executive Sean Harris said: “Any allegation of this nature is distressing to hear and we urge anyone with any information relating to this inquiry to contact police.

“As always, we would cooperate fully with any police investigation and pass relevant records straight to them.”

The police have publicly acknowledged that young boys were victims of physical and sexual abuse committed by Smith, who died in 2010, at another home in Rochdale called Cambridge House.

Three separate files regarding Smith's actions were passed to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) although on each occasion no prosecution was pursued.

GMP also investigated Smith's involvement with the Knowl View care home in Rochdale, but during this investigation no allegations of sexual abuse were made against the former MP.

Jim Taylor, chief executive at Rochdale Council said: “If anyone has any information relating to this enquiry I advise them to contact police who are investigating the abuse allegations about Cyril Smith.

“We are co-operating fully with their investigation and any relevant council records will be given straight to the police.”