PLANS to transform an historic pub dating back hundreds of years into a children's nursery have been revealed.

The former Stags Head pub in Junction Road, which closed in 2011, would be partly-demolished and refurbished if the development goes ahead.

The proposed facility would be used as a nursery for children aged two to four with play areas, welfare accommodation and other facilities for staff.

Blackburn-based Willow Tree Nursery submitted the plans to Bolton Council with help of design consultants Bradshaw Gass and Hope.

They said: "The intent of the development is to improve the appearance of the existing building but not alter its current status within the existing visual built environment."

The former pub is listed as a building of “special architectural or historic interest” within the Deane conservation area.

Historic maps show that the Stags Head pre-dates the 1840s with some parts possibly dating back to the start of the 19th century, according to a heritage statement prepared for the application.

Under these plans, the rear extension – a modern addition – would be demolished but the original two-storey part of the building would be refurbished.

The agent said: "The building is in a poor state of disrepair and appears to have signs of structural instability."

This latest application comes weeks after plans for a new retail development at the site were revealed.

This land, which was used as the pub car park, was a bowling green for many years.

Town hall bosses are due to make a decision next month.