A BOARDED-UP room filled with rubbish has been transformed into a new art gallery at a train station.

The gallery on platform five at Bolton Station, in Trinity Street, was opened at a reception on Monday and began with an exhibition displaying photography by University of Bolton students.

It is part of a wider initiative led by the Bolton Station Community Development Partnership, a voluntary group aiming to turn the station into a vibrant community space.

Arts co-ordinator and vice-chair of the station partnership Julie Levy said she was “delighted with the support” that the project has received.

“It’s wonderful to see what was once a boarded-up room full of junk, transformed into an art gallery,” she said.

“Several railway staff have given their time for free and we’re immensely grateful.”

Mayor of Bolton Cllr Hilary Fairclough cut the ribbon at the opening and Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport Cllr Stuart Haslam hailed the gallery as an “amazing project”.

The partnership has been working with rail companies as well as the University of Bolton which is now aiming to take on the lease for more empty space at the station to start new projects.

Support has come in from right across the rail network including Northern, Network Rail, TransPenine Express and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Northern have provided funding to power the project and their central region director Chris Jackson said they’re working to make the station a “facility to be proud of”.

He continued: “We are looking forward to seeing much more of the station transformed into vibrant community spaces, including the former training rooms upstairs which have been out of use for several years.

The exhibition will be open to the public between July 18 and 20 as part of the Manifest Arts Trail taking place across Greater Manchester. It is the first of many exhibitions planned by the partnership for 2019/20.

“We want to showcase local artistic talent,” said partnership chair Paul Salveson.

“We are also keen to encourage railway workers themselves to submit their art work and we are working on plans for a world first – a national exhibition of Railway Workers’ Art that could rival the ‘Pitmen Painters’ from the mining industry”.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the group or having their art displayed should contact Prof Salveson directly.

To get in touch, email boltonstationCDP@gmail.com or call 07795 008691.