Police were called at around 1.20am today after reports of an assault outside a premises on Bradshawgate.
An investigation has since launched, and a 48-year-old old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault.
Officers say that enquiries suggest two males were involved, and enquiries are ongoing to locate the second male.
A cordon was put in place from 2am until mid-afternoon.
A spokesperson for GMP said: “At around 1.20am this morning (Sunday September 3 2023), officers were called to reports of an assault outside a premises on Bradshawgate in Bolton.
“Emergency services attended the scene, and a 56-year-old man was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
“Initial enquiries suggested that the 56-year-old victim was assaulted by two males, and it is believed to be a targeted attack.
“An investigation was launched and officers in Bolton arrested a 48-year-old old man this afternoon on suspicion of section 18 assault.
“He remains in custody for further questioning.
“Enquiries are ongoing to locate the second male.”
One employee of the Swan and Barrister nearby said there were often problems in the area.
She said: “It is very normal for these things to happen in that area.
“There is something every week.
“There is no protection.
“I normally finish at 6am and there is always trouble there.
“It is mostly youths and gangs.
“They don’t even go into clubs.
“Things escalate very quickly.
“The police area always on it a short time after.
“I feel say because we have bouncers here and we do not let anyone in after 4.30am.”
Anyone with any information or concerns about crime in Bolton town centre can call police on 101 or 999 in the event of an emergency.
Alternatively, witnesses can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.