BOLTON Town Hall is not your everyday abseiling venue.

But a team of stone masons are using ropes to explore every nook and cranny of the building.

They are scaling the heights to check the brickwork — which has not been examined for a number of years — ahead of possible improvement works at the town hall.

Staff from specialist abseil firm Russell Finney Industrial Abseiling Services are supervising while inspectors from masonry company Stone Central, who have been trained in abseiling techniques, check the town hall for any wear and tear or damage.

Bolton Council says the move will save money too as the alternative to abseiling would be the erection of scaffolding — expensive, time-consuming and unsightly by comparison.

The work started on Saturday with five men scaling the clock tower over the weekend to start the inspection.

A team of four people are now concentrating on the front and left hand side of the building and will also be looking at white brickwork inside the town hall.

The work is expected to be completed today or tomorrow, with all the findings being reported to the council.

Russell Finney, managing director of Russell Finney Industrial Abseiling Services, which is based in Warrington, is used to working on oil rigs across the globe.

He said: “This is the first time I’ve done Bolton Town Hall but we do all sorts of inspections, window cleaning, signage and more.

“It’s cheaper and quicker than scaffolding and has a good safety record. We can do this job in four or five days, but it would take a couple of weeks with scaffolding.”

Stone Central is based in Prestwich and also has an office in Liverpool.

The company has Industrial Rope Access Trade Association qualified staff, including stonemasons and surveyors.

Bolton Council says it is looking to upgrade the building and the survey is one of several that will take place to inspect the whole building.

A spokesman for the council said: “We have brought in the abseilers to look at the condition of the brickwork and window frames on the south elevation.

“The council would like to make improvements to the building and will await the report before deciding how to proceed.”