Bolton Council’s leader has moved to “set the record straight” on plans for £2million works to reopen a long dormant town hall.  

It comes as Westhoughton Town Hall, which has long been closed to the public, undergoes a huge transformation aimed at 'bringing it back to life' and bringing new organisations into the space.

The plans could include turning the building into a'mixed use facility' with space for restaurants and coffee shops, but Bolton Council leader Cllr Martyn Cox says that the public will be consulted before works start in the spring of next year.

He said: “What we’d like to do is provide more space for community groups from around Westhoughton.”

He added: “The town hall will still be the town hall, there will still be civic events and town council meetings.

“The reality is when a building gets as old as Westhoughton Town Hall its going to need work to maintain it.”

Westhoughton Town Hall was built 120 years ago and as such has seen maintenance costs increase over the years.

Work began on a £2million refurbishment scheme last November focusing on a window glazing upgrade, new LED lighting, heating related pipe work and asbestos removal

Cllr Cox says that the public consultation will centre around maintaining library services in full at the town hall as well as making sure there is space for community groups.

The town hall will also retain its council chamber, both for meetings of Westhoughton Town Council and for other civic functions.

But he says that Greater Manchester Police have already confirmed that they do not want and would not accept a place in the town hall.

Cllr Cox has also said that people in the area will have the chance to have their say on the town hall’s future, with the proposal already having been presented to town council members.

He said: “The original steering group will meet in a couple of weeks to discuss the proposals further and further public consultation will take place before any works start, hopefully in the spring of 2023.”