A NEW bar has opened its doors to the public promising live music, DJs and nostalgic disco.

The Bank in Westhoughton, owned by former Wheatsheaf pub landlord Mark Sykes, opened at midday yesterday after being granted a premises licence on Wednesday.

DJs will perform at the venue on Fridays and Saturdays and live music on Sundays will start at the end of the month.

Mr Sykes is hoping to create a space for the community which frequented the Wheatsheaf before it closed in April and changed hands.

He said: “It’s quite good for the economy because it brings people in and people won’t go to other towns. It gives people the option to have a night out in Westhoughton.”

The 36-year-old took over the 19th century pub after its previous landlord Ste Brady died suddenly.

Having worked at the pub as a DJ in his youth, Mr Sykes took over the Westhoughton watering hole in a bid to stop it closing.

But a prior agreement with another brewery forced it to close for some months as refurbishment took place.

In that time Mr Sykes took out a lease on the property at Market Street formerly occupied by Lounge 7.

After discovering that the venue had no premises licence in place he invited neighbouring houses to discuss their concerns about noise from the venue.

As a result, he spent nearly £10,000 on soundproofing and agreed that the beer terrace at the back of the property would be closed whenever live music is on.

The licensing sub-committee heard about the measures Mr Sykes had taken to prevent noise seepage at the venue in a hearing that lasted several hours.

Three residents wrote to the council about their noise-related concerns and one person raised their objections at the meeting.

Cllr Susan Haworth who chaired the meeting said: “It took a while because the applicant had a lot to say about the effort he had been putting in about the concerns that the local residents had.”

The committee, which also consisted of Cllr Kevin McKeon and Cllr Hilary Fairclough, granted the licence subject to certain conditions.

Although the venue will be open until midnight on most nights, and until 1am on weekends, the beer terrace will close every night at 9pm.

The Bank, which takes its name from the building's historic use, had a soft launch on Saturday 29 December which Mr Sykes was "really pleased" with.