CHEF Paul Heathcote is going back to his northern roots with his latest venture in one of his hometown's most iconic buildings.

The famed Bolton-born chef is on the cusp of opening his new restaurant in the heart of the recently restored and refurbished Albert Halls ­— the final piece of the of the building's multi-million pound renovation.

The Bolton News was given an exclusive first look at the new restaurant as it prepares to open in the near future.

The Northern reflects the rich heritage of its stunning surroundings through its decor of traditional British colours of racing green and red, antique furniture and leather ­— while celebrating good quality 'northern' food, which the chef has made popular in restaurants across the globe.

A gallery of pictures shows Bolton as it was and now, and features the good and great of the town. There are also dominoes tables for people to enjoy a game or two before a bite to eat.

The restaurant will seat some 100 diners inside and there will be tables outside in the foyer area.

And it will serve up good quality food minus the fine dining prices

General manager Kate Mycock said: "It is such a prestigious building to be working in so we are really lucky to have the opportunity to do this."

She added: "We have worked with the archives team at Bolton Museum, we have pictures of some local faces, old maps and pictures of the building as it was and as it is now."

Reflecting the name, the menu is born out of the north's rich history with a modern twist using today's ingredients.

"The menu is nearly there, bread and butter pudding, fish pie, steak pie, really nice chips triple cooked," said Kate, "We had a tasting last week and it is all really good, it is not really complex but it is all quality and everything is local."

She added: "We want it to be relaxed dining, eating great good quality food and in a fantastic building, with full service and a friendly team so it is not stiff or formal."

Kate said that through her own market research revealed that menu prices at the establishment were competitive.

As well as the menu the restaurant will put on pre-theatre packages to complement the shows being staged in the Albert Halls ­— and there will be a roast on Sundays.

"I think it will be really nice addition to Bolton, I am hoping we can start to build a nice community, build really good relationships with other businesses and hopefully play a part in the regeneration of Bolton ­— people wanting to bring their families here.

"We are really proud of it."

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “It’s great to have a sneak preview of the new restaurant and it looks fabulous.

“It is the final piece of the multi-million pound refurbishment of the Albert Halls and it will also generate rental income for the council.

“The Northern provides something extra at the Albert Halls and the town centre as a whole, and I’m looking forward to coming along when it opens.”