A WELL-ESTABLISHED book shop in Bolton town centre has officially closed its doors.

The CLC Christian bookshop on Deansgate has stopped trading but the existing manager, who lives in Radcliffe, has taken up the opportunity of reopening as an independent store.

When Isaiah 53 Christian Bookshop Ltd opens its doors on Saturday, it will ensure that Bolton still has a Christian bookshop to serve the community.

Christian Literature Crusade (CLC) opened in Deansgate in 2009, but manager David Thurairatnam said it has operated as a ministry and not just a business.

He said: "Sadly, due to the maintenance, overhead costs and office costs, CLC has decided to close.

"It is very emotional for me because I have worked here for 20 years.

"I'm very sad that we are leaving as a chain but in the mean time, I am excited to move on and carry on with similar work out of our new venue.

"I would really ask that the people of Bolton, and visitors to the town, support us in this."

Shelves inside the Deansgate store have been emptied, and cabinets and other furniture has been dismantled.

Stock from the main shop floor and storage room has been packaged up and moved to the new store in Church Street. The move began on January 31, with CLC officially moving out by the end of February.

The national chain announced in September last year that Bolton was one of seven stores across the country that would close.

But rather than close the Bolton store completely, the company offered Mr Thurairatnam the chance to re-open independently with its support.

The closure comes at the same time as seven of CLC’s 11 stores are shutting.

The Bolton shop was previously threatened with closure in 2010 when parent company Send The Light (STL) folded, but CLC stepped in to save the store. It was also revealed in 2018 that the YMCA, which owns the block on Deansgate where the store is based, has plans to demolish the building.

Isaiah 53 will open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 9.30am-5pm.