TEAMS which have brought big name shows to Bolton and host the popular food and drink festival are in the firing line as Town Hall chiefs put forward plans to axe nearly £40 million off the budget in just 12 months.

Bosses say they are having to look at different ways of putting on the popular events and using the Albert Halls - so thet bring in cash for the council.

As The Bolton News reported this week, Bolton Council has put forward its biggest ever cost-cutting programme, driven by the huge revenue losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the proposals, the whole team at the Albert Hall ­faces redundancy ­— just three years after the historic building underwent a multi-million pound restoration project to turn it into a premiere venue attracting big shows, including David Walliams' Mr Stink.

Bolton Council’s marketing, events and communications team ­— which has helped to put the town on the map by organising Bolton Food and Drink Festival and attracting IronMan UK ­— could be cut from 18 to just five.

Instead new ‘models’ for putting on these events will be drawn up to make, ­rather than cost the council money.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, leader of Bolton Council, said: “Just to reassure everyone, this is not about stopping events such as The Food and Drink Festival and Ironman and Ironkids, great events that showcase our borough, and bring a vibrancy and excitement to our town.

“It is about the subsidy that the council has to provide in order for these events to take place.

“The Food and Drink Festival costs the council in the region of hundreds of thousands of pounds to put on, and it is about developing a model for this hugely popular event that at the very least makes it cost neutral or better still provides a much needed income.”

Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member with responsibility for the Albert Halls, Cllr Hilary Fairclough said:” Currently the Albert Halls costs the council money to run. The potential of this fantastic facility, the theatre, the hospitality rooms, the conference space, coupled with the history, heritage and architecture of the phenomenal building itself, one would hope deserves to and should bring in a revenue to the council, but sadly it doesn’t, so it is imperative we investigate other options of delivery." Just to reassure everyone, no-one is selling off our Albert Halls or our heritage. It will firmly remain our property, but this is an opportunity to look at working potentially with partners to capitalise and maximise that potential.”