A GOVERNMENT minister visited Farnworth as part of a nationwide tour to renew the Treasury’s support for the Northern Powerhouse.

Exchequer Secretary Simon Clarke MP walked the high street with council leaders to hear more about the town's masterplan.

Cllr Paul Sanders, Leader of Farnworth and Kearsley First was encouraged by the visit.

He said: “The visit is an encouraging sign in terms of the prospects of our bid for potentially £25 million from the Government’s ‘Future High Streets Fund’.

"The tour was a great opportunity for Farnworth and Kearsley ward councillors and the Growth and Regeneration Team to point out the key issues and put across the views and ideas expressed during the public consultation, which will inform the regeneration plans."

Mr Clarke also visited Royal Bolton Hospital to hear about the new planned Bolton College of Medical Sciences centre.

It will be based on the site of the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth, where representatives talked to Mr Clarke privately about the initiative which could transform how NHS workforces are trained in the UK, alleviate staffing pressures and result in an improved level of care. When open, the facility is expected to bring £150m to the local economy.

Donna Hall, Chair of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m delighted to have welcomed Mr Clarke to the Royal Bolton Hospital to hear about this truly exciting project – it’s partnership at its best and will be a great boost for the local area, as well as helping us secure the vital skills we need for our future workforce.”