The latest stage of Blackburn’s £3.8million Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project is underway as work starts on three properties in Lord Street West.

The news of the latest step forward for the scheme to create a leisure and restaurant quarter in the Victorian heart of the town has been hailed by borough council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley and his Tory counterpart Cllr Paul Marrow.

Already it has seen the renovation of the Baroque pub, the beginning of the restoration of Blakey Moor Terrace, and the upgrading of properties in Northgate.

The project will also see a makeover for King George’s Hall and the creation of a new Jubilee Square.

Numbers 10, 12 and 14 Lord Street West are now being restored using a £200,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Cllr Riley said: “The works are essential to secure the long-term future of these historic properties and an important step forward in the regeneration of the area.

“Significant private investment is already being made at 9 Lord Street West. This additional investment will transform the street”.

How Conservative group counterpart Cllr Paul Marrow said: “I am glad to see the council investing in town centre even in this economic climate.

“It is bring that side of it up to scratch. It shows confidence in Blackburn.”

Lord Street West was originally laid out in 1878 as an extension of the Georgian Lord Street across Northgate. The properties retain many of their original features and create one of the most distinctive Victorian façades in the town centre.

Works to the privately-owned 10 to12 Lord Street West (vacant since 2012) will converted the building back into two ground floor shops and reconfigure them to allow for two first-floor flats to be created.

Its owner Johnathan Wignall, intends to use 12 for his vintage and second-hand furniture business while 10 will be let.

Number 14 Lord Street West, home to the Prism Contemporary Gallery, will see the restoration of its goods taking-in tower, upper-floor windows and Georgian-styled shop front.

Additional works to 20 Lord Street West will enable its continued use as Prism Studios.

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