Cafe culture and continental style alfresco dining has reached Bolton.

Plans are underway to transform Bolton's cultural quarter into a vibrant leisure destination ­— with the Octagon at the heart of the transformation.

The theatre has created an outdoor area for people to socialise over food and drink, following the revamp of the area to extend the paved area outside the Octagon and the Wellsprings building.

And already people have been taking advantage of the summer weather to enjoy food from the theatre's Kitchen & Bar.

Alex Whinnerah, Food and Beverage Manager said: “We are thrilled to have opened up more seating for customers to enjoy here at the Octagon Kitchen & Bar, since reopening in 2021 we have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere with our customers enjoying popping in for brew or having tasty food from our brunch, lunch and pre-theatre dining menus. Now customers can enjoy our award-winning customer service and quality food and drink outside whilst soaking up the sunshine."

The Kitchen & Bar offers brunch/lunch menu, special dishes for dining out in the evening, kids menu and a dessert menu.

And people are welcome to pop in for a brew and cake.

Plans to create an outdoor seating area outside the Octagon Theatre have been on the cards since the Kitchen & Bar opened in 2021 after the streets around the venue widened to allow greater accessibility.

It comes a part of a wider planned transformation which if realised, will see upgrades made to the market and improve links from Le Mans Crescent, Victoria Square and Newport Street as park of a wide attempt to build a 'Covent Garden' style attraction in the town centre.

A new food hall and an outdoor area for up to 46 stalls are to be built at Bolton Market.

It will partially reuse the existing structure and have a substantial glazed area.

The new food hall would contain nine food and drink stalls together with a large indoor seating area. Seating would also be installed within a covered colonnade which can be closed off at night.