THE Mayor of Bolton was invited behind the scenes at an historic venue.

Victoria Hall opened its doors to Cllr Lynda Byrne and Mayor Consort Cllr John Byrne on Wednesday.

They were given a personal tour directed by Barry Massey and Patricia Harper, who are both volunteers at the hall and are tasked with conserving the heritage of the building.

Run by the Bolton Methodist Mission and home to a number of community amateur musical and dramatic groups, the hall is currently seeking support to raise money towards running costs which amount to £200,000 a year.

Rev Linda Barriball, Superintendent Minister, said she was delighted to have shown the Mayor and Mayor Consort around the building.

She said: "It was good to show community leaders around one of the few remaining Victorian buildings which have seen little change since opening.

"The Victoria Hall and Walker building serve the community today and need restoration to make them fit for the 21st century."

The tour shared stories about the significance of Victoria Hall in Bolton’s past as well as those of people who have contributed to the building and church for more than 100 years.

Cllr Byrne also toured the projection room, auditorium, basement theatre and The Walker Building.

At the end of the tour the councillors were taken to the Destitution Project, a charity that is ran by volunteers for Bolton’s refugees and asylum seekers.

Running every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm, refugees and asylum seekers can collect food and other supplies that are required to get them through the week as well as take part in English Lessons and receive haircuts.

Local businesses, churches and individuals donate food to the project which is then distributed to attendees.

Mr Massey added he was proud of the work of the Mission.

Her said: "The Bolton Methodist Mission has always helped those less fortunate in Bolton from the beginning, in some form or another."

To find out more about the hall visit