BOLTON could be at the heart of the UK's plans to become a world leading science superpower with a £800 million research centre developed in the town.

Bolton MP Mark Logan is pressing the Government to site its new Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) in the borough.

The Bolton North East MP asked Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng: "What role can Bolton play in ARIA?"

The Government has already pledged to spread departments out across the UK – with treasury jobs expected to be in the North in the coming years.

Mr Logan set things in motion in July when he invited Mr Kwarteng to Bolton for the first time to see the Samuel Crompton exhibition at the Bolton Museum.

He explained: “There’s a real energy when looking at the town and its 19th century history, as well as the impact of the industrial revolution.

“You only have to look at someone like Samuel Crompton and his inventions to see that it’s in Bolton’s DNA to be innovative.”

Last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged to invest £800m over the next five years in ARIA - a new body that will fund “high-risk, high-reward” technologies.

The idea behind Mr Logan’s bid to put Bolton forward as a base, is to help wider communities, where scientists could identify and rapidly fund ground-breaking science and technology programmes locally.

Mt Logan said: “We haven’t had the opportunities that we should have had for the people in Bolton.

“We need to find new and creative ways to make sure we are helping the wider community and economy to improve the quality of life for families, which is vastly important.”

Another incentive behind this is to encourage more young people to start a career in STEM ­— science, technology, engineering and maths.

The MP visited Sharples School last year, where he toured their STEM Centre, the 'super classroom, and the observatory.

It was there that he saw ARIA as an opportunity for Bolton to benefit from more of these centres.

He added: “As a nation we need to do more to bring the next generation to STEM subjects that lead to working posts.

“This would be another first-class example of tangible levelling up, and in Bolton, we need that more than other places.”