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Meet the Bolton community leader who spent 5,000 hours transforming an abandoned church into a thriving venue

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manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Described as a "brick masterpiece" with a tower which "rises majestically" above nearby houses, the abandoned All Souls church in Bolton was in a sorry state back in 2007 due to neglect and anti-social behaviour.

But 15 years on with the help of a team led by local campaigner Inayat Omarji, the 19th century building is now beautifully renovated and a thriving community hub.

With no help available from the austerity-ravaged Bolton Council, Mr Omarji put more than 5,000 hours of his own time into the project before eventually getting transformative funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

He is now one of six local leaders fronting the We're Right Here campaign calling for a new Community Power Act. They say this legislation, which includes giving communities the right of first refusal once buildings and spaces with significant community value come up for sale, would "fundamentally change where power lies in this country". READ MORE: Main road in Trafford Park closed off by police after crash Mr Omarji told The Northern Agenda podcast: "The country obviously is facing huge problems, such as inequality, local decline, and widespread mistrust.

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