The owner of a live music bar in the town centre has voiced his frustration at the lack of information made available to hospitality venues across the borough.

John Wray, of The Venue Bar in Churchgate, had invested money into transforming his business from a live music venue to a bar offering food and drink in order to reopen in the summer.

However, after just 28 days of trading, he was forced to close again along with other bars and restaurants across Bolton when local restrictions were announced.

The bar employs around 10 members of staff and normally supports approximately 150 musicians.

Mr Wray now feels that the hospitality sector has been left in the dark.

He said: "Bolton feels like the forgotten town. We were all over the news but now other councils are dealing with rising cases we have been left behind.

"Everyone is moaning about a 10pm curfew, but we would be over the moon with that.

"We haven't had any news on when we can open, yet people from Bolton are travelling to other boroughs to go out for a drink, the restrictions are not stopping them.

"It's be an extremely difficult year, we are a live music venue yet we haven't had any musicians since March.

"We had to completely reinvent ourselves to open again, I've had a whole kitchen fitted so we could serve finger food and compete with other businesses, but now it is sat there completely unused."

Despite not having any income, Mr Wray has still had to pay the same bills and has even enquired about changing his insurance due to limited opening hours, but will continue to be charged for having a 4am opening licence.

He said:"It's incredibly frustrating, we are having to pay a few thousand pounds for something we do not need.

"We started operating table service when we reopened in the summer, however, what people don't realise is you have to employ more staff to serve tables, so that is another cost to take into account.

"Realistically it is a concern that we would have to close in the winter, I think that's a worry for everybody.

"We cannot go on like this forever. The Government schemes have helped, but it's not enough.

"I want them to tell us when we can reopen so we can plan to do safely, I want information on licensing and from the police, because when the 10pm curfew is in place it will cause a lot of issues with everyone leaving simultaneously.

"We need recognition from the council that we need help to get through this.

"Ultimately we will come through the other end of this virus, the people owners will still be here, the buildings we still be here. But we need to ensure the business and the punters is still here too."