TWO new shops are coming to the high street to replace a former bank dubbed an eyesore in the community.

Plans to change a former Royal Bank of Scotland in Lee Lane, Horwich, have been welcomed by town councillors as a return to the store front's original look.

When the building was converted to a bank, the shop fronts and traditional canopies were removed and a new entrance, several windows and the bank's colour scheme were added.

The bank closed its doors in August of last year and has since been empty.

Now, Bolton-based real estate company Deane Estates Limited has launched an application to take the building back to its original design, featuring two shops in the one property as it once was.

The reversal of changes wrought in the banking era have been praised by town councillors, who supported the plans at a town council meeting last Monday.

Councillor David Grant said: "The bank was just bland. It was just a front with a hole in the wall for your cash, it was not in keeping with the feel of Horwich."

He added: "This will keep the high street vibrant and relevant, bringing back a good look to the building which is set in such prominent position in the town.

"It's important, I feel, for a town to have a sense of community and an identity they can be proud of.

"By having well thought out shops and cafes that people are able to use locally means more money is spent in local businesses, which feeds its way into the community.

"It gives small businesses a chance to get a foothold in Horwich."

The application will be reviewed by Bolton Council.