THE erstwhile Northern Powerhouse Minister has welcomed the move by an expanding financial firm into the borough.

And for Phillip Rose, group chief executive for Rosebridge, the relocation to the former Grants Arms in Ramsbottom is a return to the town where he first cut his financial teeth.

Bosses had decided to switch the group's headquarters from the Bradshaw area of Bolton, where it was established in 2006 with just four staff, to the grade II listed landmark in Market Place, whose old landlords once inspired the Cheerbyle Brother characters in Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby.

More than 250 guests turned out for an open evening to support the move, including politician Jake Berry, who was until recently the Rossendale and Darwen MP and Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse.

And the rationale behind the relocation, to cover all bases from Cheshire to North and West Yorkshire, would have been music to the ears of officials at Mr Berry's former department.

A Rosebridge spokesman said: "The business also has offices in Skipton, Chester and Leeds and is looking to grow the Rosebridge brand by investing in the Northern Powerhouse regions and aims to be the most respected wealth management business in the north of England."

Mr Rose first started out in financial advice in Bridge Street, Ramsbottom, and took the firm's name from a combination of their two monikers.

The former first team captain for Ramsbottom United has also ensured that the firm sponsors the senior side and supports other junior football clubs.

He sees the Grant Arms move as a case "bringing the company back to its roots".

The opening evening was also a boon for the limbless veterans charity Blesman, with £3,500 raised.

Charity supporter Mark Davies, a former army bomb disposal expert, explained how the cause offers assistance to ex-military personnel.