A BUILDER has set an ambitious target of raising £650,000 to keep the Fred Dibnah Heritage Centre open.

Lee Clark, who lives in Norris Street, Little Lever, visited the museum recently with his seven-year-old son William after learning about owner Leon Powsney's decision to put the building and all of Fred's old tools up for auction.

Mr Clark, a lifelong Fred Dibnah fan, now wants to rally the community to raise enough money to purchase the centre.

The 35-year-old said: "I have been a fan of Fred Dibnah since I was a boy and I thought I would take my little boy along to see his old home.

"It has been playing on my mind a bit. It would be so sad to see it go. Once it's gone, it's gone.

"I want to try and turn that place around. It is a lot of money but I think it is worth trying."

Mr Clark has attempted to get hold of members of Bolton Council to see if he can get them on board.

And he said he would welcome contact from anyone willing to help.

Mr Powsney announced in October that the heritage centre would be closing and everything would be auctioned off, citing personal reasons.

The items include a working Victorian engine and Fred's old tools and gear.

He said: "It has been a privilege knowing that the heritage centre has brought pleasure to many thousands of people from all around the UK and to many visitors from around the globe, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Holland, Germany, Belgium and New Zealand, all of whom would not have had the pleasure of visiting their hero's home otherwise.

"For personal reasons that I will not go into at this time I have decided that it is time for me to take a long awaited and well earned break."