A NEW concert venue could open in Bolton, building on the town’s already strong arts and cultural offering.

The plans for a new music and performing arts centre were revealed this week during a meeting discussing Bolton’s economic recovery, and the safe opening up of town centres as lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus ease.

The Future High Streets Fund bid for Farnworth and Bolton town centres to secure up to £50 million were also discussed ­- with money for Bolton being earmarked for a new arts venue in the town centre.

The government fund is designed to transform high streets, with Bolton being among the first 100 to benefit from the cash.

Deputy council leader Martyn Cox said: “As part of the council’s Future High Streets Fund bid for Bolton town centre, the council is looking at the potential of creating a new music and performing arts venue in Bolton town centre.

“ Plans are at a very early stage and subject to funding and viability.”

Town hall chiefs discussed the bid for the funds to secure the cash to support the transformation of Farnworth and create the new venue.

Bolton Council will also have to provide funding to “support the cultural and civic plans for the town centre”.

The council has recently invested in leisure activities in Bolton, starting with the transformation of Bolton Museum, which has an internationally recognised collection.

If the bid is successful, the venue will strengthen the arts scene in Bolton, which also has the Octagon Theatre and the Albert Halls, which underwent a restoration project and attracts big shows, such as David Walliams' The Stink, and the Victoria Hall.

The venues bring in people from far and wide, contributing millions to the local economy.