THE vice chancellor of the University of Bolton has been given a bridging loan of almost £1 million to fund his move to the borough, it has emerged.

Professor George Holmes has "borrowed" £960,000 after it was “unanimously approved” by the University of Bolton’s board of governors in October last year.

The university says the loan meant Prof Holmes, who has been head of the university since 2006, could move to the area at a time which was most beneficial to the university.

The loan will be paid off once his home in Yorkshire is sold.

University chiefs said that the loan would also help keep Prof Holmes as head of the University of Bolton.

Prof Holmes, whose salary is £198,200, announced his intention to move with his family from Wakefield to the local area in November, saying it would allow him “to play a greater role in the affairs of our town and its university”.

The loan is detailed in the University of Bolton’s latest financial accounts, which stated that the university's board of governors had taken external legal and tax advice and was acting in the best interests of the university.

The loan was unanimously approved at a special board meeting held on the October 1, 2014.

It is a two-year loan with an interest rate of 3.25 per cent a year.

Last week Prof Holmes unveiled plans for a new £40 million student village accommodating up to 850 students in the heart of Bolton town centre, and announced applications to the institution had increased by more than 25 per cent.

The university has previously credited him for overseeing "a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the university" and said that investment has transformed it into a "modern, fit for purpose campus".

A university spokesman said: “Granting the bridging loan meant the vice chancellor could make the move to Bolton at a time which is most beneficial to the university.

“The loan will be repaid, at a commercial market rate of interest, and will be cleared once his Wakefield home is sold.

“The board of governors believes the bridging loan and subsequent relocation by Professor Holmes to Bolton has helped secure the continued services of an excellent vice chancellor."