A BOUTIQUE has been crowned the best shop in Bolton after thousands of residents voted for their favourites in a competition.

After being narrowed down to one of only four nominees out of just under 600 entries, a family-run clothing shop has been chosen as the best shop in the high street.

Ruby Rose Boutique, in Lee Lane, Horwich, was set up by Angela Stevens and her mum, Ros, in 2012, gaining customers quickly with their range of one-off garments.

Ms Stevens said: "It's all down to the customers, we are overwhelmed with the amount of support that we have had and we feel really humbled. It has been really positive, it just shows that we are appreciated."

The shop received 300 nominations in the first round of the competition, then more than 600 votes in the final. The shop continues to be a family business, with Ms Stevens' daughter Giorgia also helping out behind the counter, but founder co-founder Ros sadly died in 2015.

Ms Stevens spoke of how proud her mum would be of the win: "I think that is where my drive comes from to keep the shop going."

The independent was celebrated by residents in the area with a certificate and a bottle of bubbly, and will now go on represent the community in the national Best Small Shop competition, run by Indie Retail.

The competition was organised by Chris Green MP and was designed to include all the stores in the Bolton West consistency.

Ruby Rose went head to head with Hey Ho Let’s Sew in Atherton, Arm Candi in Westhoughton and Oaklands Nursery in Chequerbent, but came out on top when the final votes were counted up.

Mr Green visited the shop to congratulate the team, saying: “It has been fantastic to see so many people get behind their local businesses and supporting our high streets by nominating and voting for their favourite local shop in this exciting competition.

“It was great to visit Ruby Rose Boutique, to see first-hand what their shop has to offer and to also learn of their brilliant fundraising efforts for The Christie and other local charities.

“Ruby Rose is a prime example of how local businesses can make such a positive difference to our high street and our community and I’m delighted to award them with the title of Bolton West and Atherton’s Best Local Shop.”

The shop also received a visit from Robert Downes, the development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Greater Manchester.

He said: "It’s fantastic to see such a great shop, at the heart of the local community, scooping this award.

“Horwich has a bustling high street, and Ruby Rose Boutique adds to the great choice and variety on offer. Clearly the local community agrees that they have gone the extra mile and are worthy winners of this award as per the voting public’s choice. Big congratulations to all the team there for helping to make this the best independent retailer in the area, and FSB wishes them well for the national finals.”

The national finals will see some entries be tested rigorously with a formal review by an industry panel. A select few will be chosen to attend a prestigious parliamentary reception to represent local businesses. Ms Stevens added: "We have come so far but if we get do get to parliament, we'll be elated."