Bolton Market Food Hall had its first big crowd of the year as more than 70 potential food traders toured the venue during a special open day event as it set to become a popular destination for all ages.

Built with funding from the government’s Towns Fund, market bosses say the exciting new venue sits at the heart of a vibrant new town centre neighbourhood.

The new food hall is set to open this spring.

This week dozens of interested business owners, both established traders and new names, inspected nine catering units serving a communal dining area for 192 customers.

More than 50 food and drink businesses registered a serious interest on the day, adding to the significant number who have already added their name to the waiting list.

The final line-up of traders will be unveiled ahead of opening in the spring, with selection based on businesses cases and ensuring a wide variety of options for customers.

Traders will be supported by the award-winning team behind Bolton Market and the Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

Benefits include a communal pot wash service, a live entertainment programme, televised sport and later opening hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

The new food hall venue is part of a wider £5.59m transformation of Bolton Market backed by the Towns Fund.

The fund has also supported the creation of Elizabeth Park, the refurbished Central Library, and the upcoming Wellsprings innovation hub for tech start-ups.

Read more: Bolton Food Hall set to open soon

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, said: “This modern and flexible hospitality venue is already proving to be very popular, with more than 70 potential traders through the door in just a few hours yesterday.

“With the Moor Lane development, major cultural venues, and large office buildings on its doorstep - I am sure this was the first of many busy days for our new food hall.

“Entertainment, live sport and a programme of events at nearby Elizabeth Park will help make the hall a popular destination for students, families, and visitors of all ages.”

There is still time for traders to register their interest in taking on a unit by emailing for more information.