A TOWN centre restaurant has announced that it will be "permanently" closing its doors.

Baltic Cellar Bar and Grill opened in The Vaults below the Market Place Shopping Centre just over two years ago but last week it was announced that the eatery would be shutting.

A manager at the Eastern European-inspired restaurant said it was "hard decision" to close the eatery and thanked customers for their support.

In a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, a spokesman said: “Dear customers, unfortunately Baltic Cellar has shut down permanently. This was a hard decision to make, but circumstances have compelled us to do so."

They added: “Anyway, we thank you all for your continued patronage and maybe someday we might decide to give it a go if all the conditions are right. Thank you all once again.”

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The spokesman also criticised management at the Market Place and The Vaults for a perceived lack of support over the restaurant.

In response, Nikki Wilson-Cook, manager of the shopping centre, said she was “very disappointed” to lose Baltic Cellar but did not comment on the criticism.

Baltic Cellar is the latest business to shut its doors in The Vaults after the recent closure of fledgling business Bolton’s Bangers, as well as The Bank and Gourmet Burger Company, which were shut last year.

Figures released this week by R3, the trade association for the UK’s insolvency workers, suggest high street businesses have been put under pressure in the early part of 2019.

The number of company administrations increased to the highest level for five years during the first three months and the organisation’s North West chair Paul Barber suggested the raise in problems was a result of low customer confidence and spending power.

“The factors which have been pushing insolvencies up over the last year or so haven’t gone away,” he said.

“Meanwhile the High Street is facing serious structural challenges as it comes to terms with changing consumer habits and online competition.

“Many consumer-facing businesses have exhausted their ‘standard’ toolkit for coping with reduced demand: further discounting won’t cut it, or is impossible, and a restructuring is the only option.

“Struggles in these sectors have a significant knock-on effect elsewhere, too. Every retailer is part of a wider network of businesses, from logistics firms to shop-fitters. No sector operates in isolation.”

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Earlier this month, the Moorgarth Group, which owns the Market Place, submitted an application to Bolton Council’s planning committee which could see the shopping centre’s Zara store split into four.

According to the application, the proposals would “reinvigorate the shopping centre and create more flexible units better suited to the current market.”

The Market Place building is a Grade-II listed site, meaning the applicants need listed building consent to complete any conversion.

A decision on the plans should be made by planning officers before the end of May.