WORK is due to start to repair a section of the town hall roof.

The roof improvements come ahead of a wider refurbishment planned for the Albert Halls.

Scaffolding and hoardings will go up around the north and east sides of the town hall, to allow contractors from Wilmott Dixon to carry out repairs and replacement of sections of the roof over the Albert Halls.

Work will start on Monday, August 17.

Some parts of the roof are more than 30-years-old but the majority of the roof is much older and needs urgent work to improve it to prevent leaks and further damage.

Contractors will be replacing slate tiles, gutters and most of the old rainwater drain pipes. They will also re-point stonework around the roof and higher levels of the town hall.

Internally, the contractors will be carrying out structural and technical surveys to plan for the later phases of refurbishment.

The contractors will also be working around the peregrine falcons’ activity, so as not to disturb the birds at critical times. The roof work should take about six months to complete.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “These roof and stonework repairs are essential as part of our ongoing maintenance of the Albert Halls’ side of the building.

"The work will help maintain the building for many more years to come.”

A cafe bar and improved wedding facilities will be built in the town hall as part of the revamp.

But the historic front of the Grade II listed building will remain untouched — after the council scrapped controversial plans for a restaurant and outdoor terrace earlier this year.

Plans to create a restaurant and cafe either side of the town hall steps, which included introducing outdoor seating areas created by cutting into the front of building, were dropped after outcry from campaigners.

The council's new vision focuses on creating a cafe-bar inside the town hall and upgrading the wedding and function facilities.

Planning permission has also been granted for a ramp to allow improved access for disabled people to the planned new venues.