THE oldest pub in Bolton is set to open its doors to the public again — and the new man in charge aims to turn it into “a major tourist attraction”.

The Bolton News reported last month how Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Churchgate had closed and staff were told by text message that they had lost their jobs.

The pub dates back to 1251 and is thought to be one of the four oldest public houses in the country. It is also said to be the scene of the execution of James Stanley, the seventh Earl of Derby, in 1651.

Owner Enterprise Inns has now appointed Richard Greenwood to run the pub.

Mr Greenwood, aged 37, has worked as a consultant for bars and hotels all over the world and said he wants to make the pub better than it was before.

Mr Greenwood said he wanted to capitalise on the pub's history and is talking to council chiefs about how to promote it as a tourist attraction.

It will open its doors to the public again from 7pm on Thursday.

Mr Greenwood said: “It’s always had a unique array of real ales and ciders and we won’t be changing that.

“We’ll look at a slight refurb with new furniture, and after Christmas we’ll look at introducing a food offer.”

Ye Olde Man had been run by John Jewitt who drowned on holiday in Lanzarote last year.

His widow, Jaycee Jewitt, then took over the running of the popular pub until it closed last month.

Brian Tetlow, chairman of Bolton and District Civic Trust, said: “It’s a major part of the history of Bolton, so it’s great news to know that it’s set to be reopened.”

Steve Hoyle, from The Brass Cat, also in Churchgate, said his business had suffered since Ye Olde Man and Scythe’s closure.

He said: “We haven’t had the footfall of people going there. It was a sad state of affairs to see a pub like that closed.”

Managing director Pat Kitchen, from Dunscar Bridge Brewery, said he was thrilled that it was reopening, describing it as “an institution”.

Don Chattwood from the Bolton branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: “It’s one of the most historic pubs in the country — and people will be pleased to see it open again.”