Greater Manchester’s night time economy adviser has predicted a stark future for Bolton’s pubs and hospitality sector if restrictions are not lifted soon.

Sacha Lord, speaking at city Mayor Andy Burnham’s weekly press conference said he feared ‘the end of the back street boozer’ in the town.

He called for the equalisation of the rules regarding pubs and restaurants to come in line with the rest of Greater Manchester.

He said: “The hospitality industry in Bolton is on its knees.

“To now spend more money to try put in a takeaway service is completely unacceptable.

“Businesses can’t afford that.

“Going on from the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday I’m extremely fearful that this could be the end of what we in Greater Manchester call the back street boozer.

“This VAT reduction from 20 per cent down to five per cent does help restaurants but those back street pubs that don’t serve food, that are just alcohol led, there’s no help whatsoever.

“That, along with the curfew could mean we will see many, many more doors shutting.”

Andy Burnham said he had appealed directly to government for Bolton’s pubs and restaurants to be allowed to re-open.

He said: “I understand how these businesses feel.

“To be honest with you I was taken by surprise by the closure measure in the first place.

“We always had our doubts about closing pubs in one borough alone when people can simply walk in some cases down a few streets a go to pubs in a neighbouring borough, so we were never convinced

“This measure would have huge impact and we always thought it might create more harm than good in the way in which it was implemented.

“We’re not neglecting these businesses I can assure you.

“I have made direct representations to allow Bolton’s businesses to come into line with the national curfew recognising that some can’t do takeaways and we will continue to make that strong appeal.

“To close businesses down without giving proper support is immoral in my view and it can’t be allowed to go unchallenged.

“Absolutely Bolton should be receiving support today for all businesses and individuals affected

“There should be a local furlough.

“If any businesses are closed people who work in those businesses should immediately be able to access a local furlough

“We’ve had pubs restaurants shut in Bolton for the last couple of week. people were put out of work overnight.

“It cannot be accepted.

“It is an absolute betrayal of those places that the government said it would level up.

“It’s not just those who work in bars and restaurants it’s those in the taxi trade who service those establishments and the knock effect for other businesses in the sector.

“The north of England  under restrictions without support is being levelled down and that breaks the govenment’s elections promises.”