Residents and visitors have responded in their hundreds to share why they love Bolton as part of a new campaign.
Social media was swamped within hours of Monday’s launch which urged people to complete the following sentence: ‘I love Bolton because…’
Bolton-born TV and radio presenter and former model Vernon Kay was quick to shout about his fondness for the borough.
He tweeted: “#iloveboltonbecause It’ll always be home. Great town, even better people! Never short of a chat, always happy to give you a “Y’All rite?!”
The Octagon Theatre tweeted: “We love making theatre here in Bolton with the strength of the community spirit and the great support we have always received from the fantastic Bolton audiences.”
Members of the public posted images of their favourite parts of the borough and there was a lot of love for Bolton’s amazing green spaces and countryside and especially its people.
Local business Bear In Mind Keepsakes said: “I love Bolton because we live in a beautiful diverse community. People in Bolton are the most compassionate. We look after each other.”
And David Bailey tweeted: “#iloveboltonbecause We cherish our history but it doesn’t define us. Connected to cities with countryside too. Our banter is belting, our people diverse. Our food is just smashing, our festival’s massive. Grim up north? No way my friend, come to Bolton and try it!”
The campaign is being co-ordinated by the ‘Big Up Bolton’ group, led by the Bolton Vision Partnership.
Dave Singleton, head of the Vision Partnership, said: “It has been fantastic to see such an overwhelmingly positive response from all sections of the public from across the borough.
“We are not pretending that Bolton is perfect, but being negative will get us nowhere.
“It is time for Bolton to be loud and proud about what it has to offer. We want to restore some pride in our town and the best people to talk about why they love Bolton are the people who live, work and visit here.”
Tony Oakman, Chief Executive of Bolton Council, which is one of the major partners of the campaign, said: “I have been impressed with Bolton ever since I first set foot here. The people are brilliant and the community feeling and the willingness to work together is very special.
“We should be excited about the many plans now beginning to take shape that will change our borough for the better. The next few years will see great improvements for Bolton.
”Please keep letting us know why you love Bolton so we can tell the world how great this whole borough is.”
Asking for the views of people who live, work, visit, study and invest in the borough forms the initial phase of the ‘This is Bolton’ campaign, which aims to refresh Bolton’s brand identity and encourage a positive perception of the town.
Shout about why you love Bolton by filling out a simple online form at www.thisisbolton.org, or on social media through: Facebook (thisisboltonuk), Twitter and Instagram (@thisisboltonuk), using the hashtags #iloveboltonbecause and #thisisbolton.
Over the next few weeks there will be ballot boxes in locations across the borough into which people can post completed paper forms.
Primary schools will also be urged to take part by answering the question and children encouraged to represent what they love about Bolton through drawings and creative writing.
This feedback will be used to inform the next steps to build a strong and celebrated Bolton identity, ‘This Is Bolton’, that will be recognised by not only residents, but those who live in other parts of the UK and across the world.
Key businesses and organisations already supporting the campaign include: Bolton College; Bolton Community and Voluntary Services; Bolton Council; Bolton FM; Carrs Pasties; Market Place Bolton; Octagon Theatre; Stateside Foods; The Bolton News; University of Bolton, and Xplode