BEAUTIFUL Kristina Long has been crowned the first official Miss Bolton after a closely fought battle between 20 of the town’s finest young women.

Miss Long, aged 22, of Plodder Lane, Farnworth, impressed the judges with her pledge to talk to young women across the North West about issues surrounding domestic violence.

She will now go on to represent Bolton at the Miss England semi-final in Leicestershire on Monday, June 14.

If successful, Miss Long could go on to represent the country at the Miss World contest.

This year is the first in which Bolton has had its own heat, rather than coming under Manchester.

Despite winning a contract with a top modelling agency, Miss Long says she is not planning to give up her two jobs, as a carer and a checkout worker at Asda in Burnden Park.

Miss Long is originally from Belfast, but has lived in Farnworth for about five years.

She said: “I’m absolutely amazed. I can’t believe I’ve come over here and they’ve accepted me, and that’s why I want to give something back to them in any way that I can.

“I’m going to go and talk to girls in local schools offering them someone to talk to, because it’s difficult.

“I’ll tell them what I’ve experienced and, hopefully, make sure they don’t have to go through what I’ve been through.”

Runners-up in the contest were Sara Southworth, aged 21, of Hartley Street, Horwich, and Sheridan Lee, aged 18, of Bridge Street, Farnworth.

Naomi Holmes and Stacey Regan came fourth and fifth.

The contest was judged by Miss England Lt Cpl Kat Hodge and former Miss Wales Melanie Jones, after a gruelling day of interviews and photoshoots.

Noopur Sharma, aged 22, of St Helens Road, Daubhill, was named Miss Charity and Miss Popularity after raising the most money and getting the most public votes. She raised more than £2,000 through events in pubs and bars.

Naomi Holmes and Julia Crilly came second and third in the Miss Charity contest.

The 20 candidates raised a total of £6,900, which will go towards buying wheelchairs for the Variety Club charity.