The owner of a Bolton-based gin company will be this year's bartender for Bolton Pride.

Winning the exclusive rights, Paul Welch, owner of Bolton Gin Company and Tap and Cork Bars will host this year's guests with drinks as they attend the many Bolton Pride events across the town centre.

Paul and his team will be supplying all the drinks exclusively for Pride including playing host to the launch and after parties.

Speaking about the proud moment for the team and himself, Paul said: "The Bolton Gin Company and Tap and Cork bars are proud to be supplying the main pride event bars in Victoria Square and also the launch and after parties at our unique venues in the Vaults in The Market Place Bolton.

"Our company has been built on inclusivity and acceptance for all and we see Pride as the perfect way to bring everyone from across Bolton together for what promises to be an incredible event.

"As a small, young but rapidly growing group of companies this event will help us show Bolton what we care about and how we hope to encourage everyone to come together no matter what gender, who they choose to love or how people choose to identify.

"Lets all enjoy some incredible entertainment in hopefully some sunshine together for Bolton."

Bolton Pride Festival director, Kev Wright, and Rob Wright, associate festival director, said they are delighted Paul will be hosting the drinks at this years pride as his whole team are supportive to the LGBTQ+ community.

Kev said: "We are delighted that Paul and his team at The Bolton Gin Company won the exclusive rights for the Pride In Bolton bartender and Parties this year.

"Paul's company ethos and his whole team are amazingly supportive to the LGBTQ+ community and what more way to prove it than being one of Pride's 2022 festival supporters.

"Paul will be supplying all the drinks exclusively for Pride including playing host to the launch and after parties.

"Moreover, I would also like to say whilst Bar 4 in the vaults and V5 is not commonly known as a 'LGBTQ+' bar it is has also been a very safe and welcoming bar for all from the community 365 days a year including all the occasions I have visited."

Rob said: "From the very beginning when the Bolton Gin Co engaged with Pride Bolton, the dialogue was always positive and forward thinking.

"Earlier on in the year, both Paul and Lisa helped raise funds for Pride in Bolton by facilitating and presenting a 'Pride in Bolton' limited edition gin with a small percentage of the proceeds of the proceeds going towards the costs of delivering and paying for all the costs that are involved.

"This includes planning and executing a fantastic festival for all the community to enjoy inclusively regardless of orientation or identity, which was received with much excitement and praise.

"To echo Kev's comments, due to their being again an increased interest from bars and events pop up bars across Bolton and a little further afield, we were delighted to narrow down the tender applications to a shortlist and finally take the decision that The Bolton Gin Co, particularly with their previous support, were the best choice to take on the exclusive bar spaces this year.

"We have been working cohesively both with Paul and Lisa to help plan an amazing bar that will be located centrally within Victoria square with seating area and some shade with parasols along with a VIP seating space.

"There will be security on site to ensure public safety including our Pride in Bolton volunteers endearingly knows as our Pride in Bolton Ambassadors that will there to help out over the weekend.

"We are also working together tirelessly to plan an amazing launch party at Bar V5 in the vaults where the main entertainment will take place on both the launch party on Friday, August 5 from 7pm and Saturday evening August 6 at 7pm for the after party, and there will also be a smaller quieter bar 'The Rainbow bar' that is just around the corner also located within the vaults.

"Both bars will be open to the public but also welcome special guests, entertainers and performances including a red carpet and photograph opportunity.

"We anticipate a splendid weekend full of joy and fun, the real come back that has been missed since 2019 when Pride in Bolton had our last full scale event.

"We ask that everyone please follow our facebook page 'Pride Bolton' to receive automatic updates and also register for the parade if they haven't already.

"We are extremely excited and look forward to welcoming everyone over the weekend."