AMBITIONS to restore league football to Bury have been endorsed by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove and Metro Mayor Andy Burnham.

Mr Gove and Mr Burnham were at Gigg Lane yesterday to meet with members of Forever Bury and Est 1885 to discuss the future of Bury FC and to see where 'levelling up' funding will be spent.

Late in December, the Bury Times revealed Mr Gove had awarded the supporters collective £1m from the Community Assets Fund. as campaigners looked to bring football back to Gigg Lane for the 2022-23 season.

While touring the ground, Mr Gove said they chose to back the club because of the community minded people involved.

Mr Gove said: "We chose to back this club because of the fans who have been trying to ensure that Bury could come back to Gigg Lane, I think they are an inspiration to football fans everywhere.

"They were determined to not let the club that they love die and people who have behaved unscrupulously in the past tore the heart out of the community.

"Here there are a group of incredibly community-minded people, they put together a compelling case for investment and we've got a fund specifically set up so that when you've got a community group that wants to take over an asset, that the government is there to help them.

"This is the perfect place to celebrate togetherness after a time of so many people being apart, this is a sign of hope and renewal.

"We thought this was absolutely right to invest in."

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham, said the revival will be brilliant.

He said: "Hopefully the dark times are coming to an end and to think about this stadium coming back to life, it will just be an amazing thing to witness.

"You can feel the future coming back here and you know this place is part of the community, with the football club resurgent in its support base.

"I've always said there will be football at Gigg Lane again and we all said that we would work to that end and I'm proud of what Eamonn (O'Brien, council leader) and Bury Council have done to support and credit to Michael Gove and the government for backing it."

Bury North MP James Daly added: "It's about individual policies and working together between the state and between the community to create unbelievable outcomes for local people in Bury in every possible way."

Gigg Lane is one of the world’s oldest professional football stadiums and has been home to Bury FC since the club’s founding in 1885.

Plans have been drawn up to transform the 12,500 seater ground into an asset for the whole community, with a 3G pitch and community gym, classrooms and health facilities.