HUNDREDS of people filled Bolton’s Victorian vaults for an evening of culture and live music.

Market Place Shopping Centre opened up its hidden vaults to make way for father and daughter Chris Carter and Lauren Carter-Bridges to showcase Art In The Vaults — their first solo fine art exhibition of painting and photography.

People sipped wine and ate cheese at the free event while they browsed around the artwork which was displayed around the usually out of access vaults.

It was a family affair for the Bolton based Carter family as Cammie Carter, aged 16, sang her own material while playing a grand piano. She also joined forces with Westhoughton teenager Joe Keegan, who featured on BBC’s The Voice earlier this year.

Paul ‘Kermit’ Leveridge, from 1990s rock band Black Grape, entertained guests with a series of poetry. He was keen to get involved after being impressed by Cammie’s singing voice while at a party in Manchester earlier this year.

Ms Carter-Bridges, from the centre’s Lauren Ashley Jewellers, said: “We hoped for 90 people and expected 40 but we have had more than 250. The venue is amazing, it’s such an awesome scene. We planned the event in four weeks as work is going to start on the place in a few weeks.”

Tim Vaughan, director of Market Place, said: “We have been looking at ways to promote the vaults and Lauren said she would really like to do an art exhibition. We never dreamed it would be anything like it was, it was just amazing. We are grateful to be able to hold an event like this. I can’t believe the amount of music and talent in this town.”

He said he hopes the vaults will become a popular attraction similar to Manchester’s Printworks. He is hoping more people will opt to host exhibitions and music events at the shopping centre’s hidden treasure.

Joe Keegan, singer, said: “I hope the event will attract more people to come to Bolton. This event has been absolutely phenomenal. I have never been to anything like this before. I enjoyed everything about it, it was very relaxing.”