After years of sitting in disrepair following a fire, a chapel in Bolton is being brought back to life.

The chapel that sits in the middle of Astley Bridge Cemetery has been in a 'poor state' for years, with boarded-up windows and doors.

The Grade II listed chapel, which was built in 1883, suffered an arson attack in 2017, with its vestibule having been 'burnt out'.

Now, the community is coming together to inject life back into it, with artwork designed by schoolchildren and community groups to be put in the window spaces.

The Bolton News: The chapel at Astley Bridge Cemetery following a fire in 2017The chapel at Astley Bridge Cemetery following a fire in 2017

Each school and group has designed at least one window. There will also be a remembrance window for WW1, with the name of everyone from the armed forces buried in Astley Bridge Cemetery also on it.

Schools and groups that have contributed to the project include Sharples School, Thornleigh Salesian College, Sharples Primary, The Oaks, High Lawn, Holy Infant and St Anthony, St Pauls, Oldhams Church and Drummond Street Crafting Group.

Cllr Hilary Fairclough of Astley Bridge said: "The chapel, a listed building, has been in a very poor state for many years. Sadly, it would cost too much money to bring it back to being a useful building.

"For a long time I have been looking to do something to try to improve the building, even if it is only aesthetically, and with the help of local schools and community groups I think we have been able to make the building much more attractive whilst keeping the solemnity of the chapel.

"Last March, I contacted officers at the council and shared my idea of replacing the boarded up windows with local art work. Officers were fantastic and I couldn’t be happier with the results."

The Bolton News: Plans for the new window artworkPlans for the new window artwork (Image: Public)

The designs will be unveiled on Friday, October 13, where the groups involved will meet to admire their handiwork.

She continued: "All these fantastic designs have been brought to life by the council’s sign shop, they have done a really wonderful job and gone above and beyond to get everything perfect and I am so excited to see them all in place.

"The work has been funded by our area forum. Cllr John Walsh and I agree it is money well spent.

"I am so proud of all our schools and community groups in the area they are always so supportive of Astley Bridge and always contribute to our art displays around the area."