TOWN chiefs say they are in talks to secure a share of a £60m financial support package as Greater Manchester enters 'tier 3'.

The region will face stricter measures from Friday to combat growing infections and hospital admissions due to the virus, as the political fallout from the bitterly disputed announcement continues.

Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh said he had been in contact with communities minister Robert Jenrick to push Bolton’s case for a portion of the £60m pledged to support businesses and individuals whose livelihoods will be affected.

He said: "It is clear the amount on the table, which is what has been accepted in Liverpool, Lancashire and now South Yorkshire, and I am not prepared for Bolton businesses to miss out on this extra financial help.

“This is not the time for posturing and politics. This is about getting the best deal available for Bolton business, and those who work in the sectors worst affected.

“I hope to have further discussions later today with government officials and ministers, and progress as a matter of priority to enable a scheme to be worked up that targets those most affected.”

Earlier he had said he was ‘disappointed and frustrated’ with the decision to impose tier 3 coronavirus restrictions on the borough.

On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the imposition of tier 3 on Greater Manchester regardless of agreement with leaders.

Mr Burnham, backed by all 10 Greater Manchester council leaders, was insisting on a higher figure to support businesses forced to close, the self-employed and others who will lose income.

Speaking of the government’s decision to walk away from talks on a support figure, the mayor accused them of playing ‘a game of poker with people’s lives’ and ‘trying to put pressure on people to take as little as they can possibly get away with’.

On Friday Bolton moves from tier 2, the ‘High’ alert level to tier 3, the ‘Very High’ alert level.

This means pubs and bars not serving a substantial meal must close.

Separate households are banned from mixing both indoors and outdoors, in hospitality venues or private gardens.

Residents can still meet in groups of up to six from different households in outdoor public spaces like parks, beaches and the countryside.

There is also added ‘guidance’ against travelling in and out of the Greater Manchester area.

The leader of Bolton’s opposition Labour group, Nick Peel, said that the government’s imposition of Tier 3 restrictions without financial agreement was ‘an act of vindictive petulance designed the punish the ‘rebellious north’ and make an example of us’.

He added: “The arguments presented to the PM by local leaders and MPs of all parties was never set against the Tier 3 restrictions, but was always about a proper support system for those businesses and the low paid especially, who are now going to suffer extreme financial hardship.”

Liberal Democrat leader on Bolton Council, Roger Hayes, has added his name to a letter from their party about Tier 3 restrictions.

It stated: “Now the government threatens months of further restrictions, without the support needed to underpin it.

“This risks a death by a thousand cuts for our hospitality and creative sectors – and the jobs that depend on them.

“The north of England hosts dynamic businesses, a rich arts sector, world-leading universities and some of the country’s most popular national parks.

“But we are too often overlooked by a London-centric government. We are proud of our communities and stand ready to work cross-party to deliver the support they need to work together to defeat the virus.”