STUDENTS who have been left in temporary accommodation after a major blaze in the centre of Bolton are being allowed to return to pick up their belongings.

Residents who live in flats in The Arches have been told they can enter their homes again for the first time since the fire ripped through The Cube tower block on Friday night.

A spokesman for Irwell Valley Homes, which manages the adjacent building, said Bolton's Building Control team had handed the site back but that work to make it safe is still ongoing.

They said: "The fire service has now given control of your building back to us and we are working to get the building back in a safe and working order for you to move back in.

"The entrance doors to all of the apartments will need to be replaced and we are working with specialist door contractors to agree a schedule for this. Bolton Council Building Control will need to sign off the works before we can hand the apartments back to you.

"If you need any items urgently from your home or need to see to pets, please come here and you will be safety escorted by our team to your home. If you don't need anything urgently, please stay where you are for now. We will send you an email and text with more information later today.

"We have a new team of colleagues here to help you. They are available all day, so if you need to speak to us you can call Andrew on 07767 620173, Tracey on 07443024229 or Annabel on 07831296517.

"Thank you once again for your patience and understanding, we know this has been a difficult weekend. We are doing our very best to get you back in your home as soon as possible."