CELEBRITY chef Simon Rimmer has been named ambassador for Bolton Market after its £4.5 million council revamp.

The TV presenter will be the special guest at the Valentine’s weekend launch of the new indoor ‘lifestyle hall’.

Most businesses, including restaurants in the new food court, will be ready for the February 14 opening.

Some businesses in the indoor hall have been open since January 21.

Mr Rimmer described the market as the “jewel in Bolton’s crown” and added that the council should be praised for trying to attract younger shoppers to it.

Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris said that having the chef on board is a boost to the key town centre project.

Ahead of his February visit, Mr Rimmer said: “I’m a massive advocate of fresh, local produce and passionate about shopping local, so I was more than happy to become Bolton Market’s ambassador.

“Bolton is very fortunate in that it has a fantastic market, and I wanted to get involved in promoting what really is the jewel in Bolton’s crown.

“I visited Bolton Market a few years ago and was really impressed then by what I saw. I think now with this refurbishment it will be even better.

“What Bolton is trying to do with the new hall is attract the next generation of shoppers, which should be shouted about.

“I’m looking forward to working with the traders in the months ahead.”

Mr Rimmer owns the highly successful restaurants Greens in West Didsbury and Earle in Hale. He will use his experience of 20 years in the food business to help traders maximise profits, meeting them for the first time on February 14. While there, he will be hosting masterclasses with traders and will share his wealth of industry knowledge to help them succeed.

Cllr Morris said: “Simon is a household name and an inspiration to any business owner who wants to succeed.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have him on board.”

About a third of the 40 businesses in the hall are new, including micro-pub Great Ale Year Round and coffee bean firm The Coffee Grind. The council is also set to open a new outdoor market, in New Street, by the end of February.

Mr Rimmer, aged 50, is best known for his appearances of BBC Two’s Something for the Weekend and Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.