Youngsters performing in bands could soon have an established base to grow their confidence and hone their musical talents.

Rockit CIC is working on an ambitious plan to create a space for young people to practice, play and record music at the Bolton Gin Company premises at Weavers Corner on Hampson Street in Horwich.

To make this a reality, the gin company applied to the council to make significant changes to its licence.

Rockit director Joe Carr said: “Really what this is about is building friendships and bringing the community together.

“When kids start this they can be so shy but they come out of this with such confidence.”

The Bolton News: The planned licencing areaThe planned licencing area (Image: Bolton Gin Company)

With this aim in mind Bolton Gin Company had applied to vary its licence to extend its permitted hours to sell alcohol from Monday to Sunday between 10am and 11pm, with opening hours set between 10am and midnight.

The alcohol licence is intended to allow the premises to host gigs at various points across the year and a range of safety measures including CCTV and staff training have been included.

They also asked to allow live and recorded music as well as dance performances between the same hours.

This will apply on the ground floor of unit 9 at the Weavers Corner facility.

The Bolton News: The Bolton Gin Company premisesThe Bolton Gin Company premises (Image: Google Maps)

As Mr Carr explained, this will allow Rockit to help run its activities throughout the year and will help the premises to run regular gigs, giving the youngsters the chance to see live acts and in some cases perform as part of support bands.

He said: “This unit is just phenomenal; it ticks all the boxes and its right in the heart of Horwich where the music scene is growing.”

He added: “Its such a wonderful plan and its going to be incredible for the whole town.”

Rockit also curate the Right to Roam festival, and Mr Carr and his colleagues hope this will dovetail with their planned work at Weavers Corner.

Bolton Gin Company director Paul Welch said he hoped the new licensing arrangement would help him to put more funding into the work Rockit does and could help create more job opportunities.

He said: “The sense of pride you get from being involved is irreplaceable.”

They were supported in their bid by Cllr David Grant, of Horwich South and Blackrod, who said he had chosen Rockit as one of his charities as Mayor of Horwich.

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He said: “It’s a proven fact that music and art have a positive effect on the youth and its sadly being eroded from the curriculum in our schools.”

Cllr Grant added that the bid had the “unanimous” support of all of Horwich’s ward councillors.   

Following a brief hearing at the council chamber, the licencing committee chaired by Cllr Sean Fielding, of Breightmet, with Cllr Debbie Newall, of Kearsley, and Cllr David Chadwick, of Westhoughton South, decided to approve the bid.

But the next step will need planning permission from the council before it can proceed.

Mr Carr and Mr Welch hope to submit formal plans soon.