SIGNS welcoming visitors to Farnworth and Kearsley are a boost following 'years of Boltonisation', according to a local councillor.

New signage can be seen entering the two towns for the first time since 1974, when they were incorporated into Bolton borough.

Cllr Paul Sanders, a Farnworth and Kearsley First representative, said: "For many years, people from Farnworth and Kearsley have questioned why both towns have never had official welcome signage.

"We have had one or two simple name signs – but for decades there's been nothing official, much like countless other towns benefit from.

"Our towns' symbols have been hidden away since the time Kearsley and Farnworth were swallowed up into Bolton borough in 1974."

The signs were funded using capital monies left over in a number of small pots for district centre and street scene improvements.

The coat of arms for each town are emblazoned on the signs.

The 1939 coat of arms of Farnworth encapsulates images of ferns, from which Farnworth gets its name. It also includes cops of cotton which represent industrial cotton mills, hornets which represent paper and bleach mills and the Lancashire Rose.

Kearsley's 1866 crest includes arrows associated with the surname Fletcher, hanks of cotton representing industry and a white chevron on a green shield which symbolises a clearing in the moss.

Cllr Sanders, who is up for re-election in May's council elections, added: "As a party, it was hoped to finally deliver signage featuring our civic symbols which all Farnworthians and Kearsleyites would be proud of.

"With the anticipated increase in visitors related to the Farnworth town centre regeneration, the timing is now right for this scheme of uniform signs.

"The signs will also help to highlight the close proximity of Kearsley town right into the heart of Farnworth Town Centre and it is hoped potentially inspiring wider investment opportunities to be explored in Kearsley too."

Other councillor colleagues from Harper Green ward and Kearsley ward were also supportive of the new signage when it was proposed, according to Mr Sanders.

"It is hoped that the new signs will be greeting visitors into our towns for many years to come," Cllr Sanders added.