BOLTON MP Chris Green championed the borough’s high street traders as they celebrated Small Business Saturday.

The annual event promotes shops, restaurants and businesses in a bid to ensure they thrive, not just at Christmas time, but all year round.

Mr Green hailed small businesses as the ‘lifeblood of our high street’ as they gear up for their busiest time of the year.

He said: “Across Bolton, we are fortunate that so many of our shops are still well supported by local people. Small Business Saturday helps to champion them, highlighting the vital role they have to play in our local communities.

“Bolton has for years felt neglected, but plans are under way to breathe new life into the town centre, a place, which alongside Manchester, was at the heart of the industrial revolution.

“The £1bn plans for a Bolton town centre masterplan have already been pitched to investors across the globe and showcased at a meeting at Number 10 recently.

“If these plans get the go-ahead, they will help to create a great many new jobs and homes at the heart of Bolton

“While I support the proposals, it’s also vital that local shopkeepers in the areas neighbouring Bolton centre are not forgotten. The cafes, hairdressers, newsagents, butchers and bakers in places such as Westhoughton, Blackrod and Horwich.”

He added: “As we leave the EU, the Government is also ensuring that small businesses, working alongside the Federation of Small Businesses, get the support they need so their interests are heard loud and clear during the negotiations. In fact an extra 196,000 small and medium sized businesses were created across the country in just the last year.”