EFFORTS to bring an historic town centre building back to life are expected to take significant steps forward in the coming weeks.

Formal plans have now been submitted for the renovation of Little Bolton Town Hall, which will be transformed into bars, a restaurant, and offices.

Chris and Rebecca Brayshaw, who announced their ambitious plans for the St George’s Street site in April, will be moving their umbrella business into the site later this month and hope they will soon be given the go-ahead for the rest of the refurbishment project.

Mrs Brayshaw said: “We are looking to move into our part of the building at the end of this month, then once the plans are passed we can start to move on the bar and offices. In an ideal world, we would look to have those ready to open by Easter.

“We want the whole building to feel like a community where people can work, eat, and drink and where families can come at the weekend.

“The restaurant might be another six months away after that and is not something that is really being looked at for the moment. But we are looking at bringing in quite a big name. We do have someone to take over the bar and hopefully we can announce that soon.”

The grade two listed building, which dates back to 1826 and recently underwent a £450,000 renovation, has been empty for a number of years.

As well as its use as a town hall for the township of Little Bolton, it was also a court and a police station and was the scene of a Chartist riot in 1839.

The Brayshaws purchased the site after identifying it as the perfect location to move their Umbrellaworld business to from the Nortex Business Centre in Chorley Old Road.

And they are now hoping that other businesses will be keen to move in once they see the ambitious designs for the building.

Mrs Brayshaw added: “The offices will be open plan and a mixture of hot-desking and fixed desks. People will be able to come in on a monthly rolling subscription basis.

“It is going to be a really exciting space and we are hoping to attract people who are either working from home or can’t afford bigger standalone offices.

“It is going to be the kind of place that you would otherwise have to travel to Manchester for and we are very excited by it.”

Their planning applications states that these latest refurbishments are the ‘ultimate step towards making the building not only a functional space again, but allowing it to reclaim the significant role within Bolton that it once held’.

The plans include the addition of a glazed extension that will provide additional seating to the bar and bring the abandoned courtyard into use, and a new external staircase.