More than 300 buildings all over Bolton are set to be looked after and maintained “in-house” by the council again.

Until now the 379 local authority buildings had been managed by private company Robertson Facilities Management since May 2019.

But with the contract now set to come to an end in May next year, the council has decided to take over the running of these buildings themselves again.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: “We would like to thank Robertson Facilities Management for their outstanding work, helping to keep our buildings well maintained and safe for Bolton residents, businesses and visitors to the borough.

“However, it is right that we keep all contracts under regular review, and we feel now is the right time to bring this service back in house.

The Bolton News: Bolton Central Library and MuseumBolton Central Library and Museum (Image: Newsquest)

“This move will allow us to be more responsive to changes in the way we use our public buildings and other council-owned property and could also deliver a potential boost to the local economy.”

The move comes just months after a town hall meeting heard how the council was preparing to invest £11.5million in safety and security at public buildings around the borough.

Speaking at the time, chief executive Sue Johnson said that she knew this was a “significant amount of money at a time when everyone's budgets are under pressure.”

Budget pressures have been a huge factor for the authority in recent years which finished a public consultation on where £9.1million in cuts will fall earlier in January.

The final decision on where cuts will be made is set to be announced soon.

But Ms Johnson argued last autumn that the investment was necessary to protect the town hall “and to make sure it can still be used by the community in another 150 years.”

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These included the 150-year-old town hall and Bolton Central Library and Museum.

Property management at buildings like these has been handled by Robertson since May 2019, who have twice seen their contract extended since then.

But Bolton Council says their decision to take over the management services again will allow them to respond to people’s demands more easily and possibly create jobs.

A Robertson Facilities Management spokesperson said: “We continue to enjoy a close working relationship with the council, and remain committed to providing first class services and support through to the Facilities Management contract end in May 2025.”