Hundreds of staff and students were evacuated from Bolton College this afternoon. 

Lessons were cancelled and pupils encouraged to go home after an incident just before 12pm. 

Greater Manchester Police confirmed the college was evacuated after a bomb threat.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "At around 12noon today (Monday 9 March 2020) police received a report that a threat had been made towards Bolton College on Deane Road.

"The college was evacuated and will remain closed for the rest of the day.

"Officers are currently at the scene carrying out searches.

"Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 1066  of 09/03/2020 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."

READ: Bolton College evacuated after bomb threat - live updates

Police left the scene around an hour and a half later and students were allowed back into the building to collect their belongings. 

The college will remain closed for the rest of the day. 

Bill Webster, principal for the college, said: "We followed procedure and the evacuation went through smoothly.

"The safety of staff and students is obviously our number one priority and we will take any threat seriously. 

"Once we carried out the proper process and the police had finished their investigation we let people back in to get their bags but because of the complexity of that number of students we decided to suspend learning for the day. 

"We will be back open as normal tomorrow."