Bolton church project shortlisted for English Heritage award

All Souls Church, Bolton The church is being transformed into a community centre, while preserving its original appearance

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A £4.8m project to turn a neglected church into a community centre has been shortlisted for an English Heritage award.

All Souls Church in Bolton has been transformed by a team led by local resident Inayat Omarji.

The work, funded through The Churches Conservation Trust, could now receive an English Heritage Angel Award.

The project has been shortlisted under the "best rescue of any other heritage building or place" category.

'An inspiration'

The awards were created in 2011 to celebrate the efforts of people who put hours of "hard work, passion and perseverance into saving vulnerable, damaged and derelict historic landmarks".

Trevor Mitchell, English Heritage planning director for the North West, said: "The passion, perseverance and imagination of Inayat and his team is an inspiration to us all."

The revamp of the church, which closed in the mid-20th century, is among 16 projects shortlisted for awards across the country.

Mr Inayat and his team will attend an awards evening at the Palace Theatre in London on 3 November, hosted by playwright and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who founded the awards.

The new community centre, which retains the Grade II-listed church's original appearance, is scheduled to open in November.

It will mark a new chapter for the building, which had been left to decay and was damaged by vandals.

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