Published Thursday 25 March 2021 at 11:49
Blackburn’s Townscape Heritage Project celebrates another step forward this week as the construction contract to deliver the restoration of Blakey Moor Terrace is approved to go out to tender.
Blakey Moor Terrace was identified as a priority within the Townscape Heritage Project and as such the Council has spent the last few years acquiring the individual properties to facilitate its restoration, redevelopment and re-use.
The project will see the restoration of the historic building’s structure and external shell, creating two new spaces suitable for food and drink, retail, arts or leisure uses. The new offer will complement the existing offer at King George’s Hall and new Reel Cinema, and support the wider ambition for cultural regeneration of the area.
According to historic maps, the terrace was originally constructed between 1848 and 1894, but has been modified many times since. Subsequent decades of inappropriate modernisation and lack of maintenance have left it in it in a very poor condition but not beyond repair.
Last autumn, an interior strip-out was undertaken to peel back the layers of alterations and reveal what remains of the building’s original structure. Now, award winning architects Group Ginger have finalised plans to bring the terrace back into use and the Council is seeking a construction company with experience of heritage projects to undertake the works.
It is expected that the works will take around 12-18 months and once completed the terrace will be further enhanced by an impressive rear courtyard that makes the most of the south facing aspect.
Group Ginger Architects said;
It has been our pleasure to respond to the Council’s ambitious brief to repair and revitalise the building; providing a vision for Blakey Moor Terrace, that celebrates activity and secures the buildings long-term future which is complementary to the enhanced cultural quarter of Blackburn town centre.
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member of Growth and Prosperity said;
This finished design includes some significant changes, particularly at the rear where land has been assembled to produce an attractive recreational space that will really enhance the Blakey Moor Terrace. After delays, including, of course, the coronavirus lockdown, the Council are keen to see the area bustling with activity that will eventually see these historic buildings restored and adding to the economic and social life of the town.
This exciting next step comes at the same time as the Townscape Heritage Project has also approved a further £70,000 grant for works at 29 Blakey Moor, the former Jubilee pub.
The new owners, NextAim Ltd, a national food and & beverage chain has submitted Planning Permission for restoration works and a new rear extension, with a view to opening their first UK flagship branch this summer. Operating as ‘Smokin’ Ranch N Grill’, it will provide a casual dining cuisine concept that will bring a fresh new offering to Blackburn.
Other grant funded works at 10-12 & 14-20 Lord Street West are nearing completion and Prism Studios and Prism Galleries are set to move back into their refurbished premises in the next few week.
The Townscape Heritage Project is a joint investment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It has already funded environmental improvements at Blakey Moor and offers up to 80% grant towards the restoration of heritage buildings within the project area.
David Renwick, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said;
This is a major step forward in the delivery of the Townscape Heritage Project. The sensitive restoration and reuse of Blakey Moor Terrace after decades of near dereliction will be a real achievement.
Companies interested in tendering for the construction contract should register online with The Chest North West. Businesses interested in commercial opportunities at Blakey Moor Terrace should contact Brady’s on 0161 839 1213.