AN HISTORIC Grade II-listed Victorian mansion is set to become a musical hub.

Mere Hall, set in Thomasson Park, could be the new home of Bolton Music Service.

On Thursday, councillors will decide whether to approve a change of use for the building and a separate listed building consent for internal refurbishment.

The music service is looking to operate between 8am and 9pm each day and planning documents indicate a condition would enforce this.

Bolton Council's planning officers noted: "The use as a music and performance education centre is considered to be appropriate for this site."

Changes are proposed inside the building including stripping out the kitchen and bar areas, installing a new staff room, removing some modern partition walls and erecting new ones.

External repairs to flat roofs and the brickwork are also planned.

Mere Hall has been empty since the Registrar Service moved out in 2017, relocating to Bolton Town Hall.

It was targeted by vandals during this time, who damaged lead flashing and York stone paving.

Mere Hall was built in 1837 for Benjamin Dobson, an engineer.

The house was left to the town of Bolton in 1890 by its then owner, JP Thomasson, and adapted for use as a museum.

When it became the Registrar Service in 1996 it underwent a £1 million refurbishment.

In the planning documents, officer said: "It is not considered that Bolton Music Service are likely to generate significant noise whilst carrying out their activities at this site, certainly no greater impact than a wedding venue.

"The benefits of reducing the likelihood of anti-social behaviour at this site by way of occupancy must also be taken into account."

Bolton Music Service has been operating out of Ladybridge High School but a school expansion programme means it needs to find a new home.

The music service covers Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen and teaches around 8,000 children a week to play an instrument. More than a third of local primary schools are taught their music curriculum by the service and it also runs 45 weekly out-of-school bands, choirs and orchestras.