Restoration of Victorian shops and warehouses at Lord Street West starts

Published Thursday 3 December 2020 at 10:50

The Townscape Heritage Project is excited to announce that work will now start at Lord Street West in Blackburn town centre this week.

Over the next few months historic properties at 10, 12 and 14 Lord Street West will be restored and brought back into use for a combination of retail and arts uses, thanks to almost £200,000 of grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

The works are part of a wider plan to restore historic properties in Blackburn town centre that includes the Blakey Moor Terrace. An ambitious scheme to restore and redevelop the terrace is now in the final stages of design and construction is expected to start on-site once Lord Street West is completed.

The Townscape Heritage Project is a joint investment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will be delivered over the next 2 years.

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 together create one of the most distinctive Victorian façades in the town centre today.

10-12 Lord Street West has stood vacant since Mellor’s Wire Works closed in 2012 after trading there for over 100 years. Works to the privately owned property will now see the building converted back into two ground floor shops and reconfigured to allow for two first floor flats to be created in a second phase of works.

The original shop front at no. 12 will be carefully restored and a new shop front created to match at no. 10. The upper floor windows will be restored and front elevation repointed and redecorated. The 80% Townscape Heritage Project grant will also fund works to resolve damp and drainage problems, address fire safety and install new electrics and heating system.

The property owner, Mr Johnathan Wignall, intends to use no. 12 for his own vintage and second-hand furniture business and no.10 will be put on the market to let for retail or food and drink uses.

No. 14 Lord Street West is owned by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and home to Prism Contemporary Gallery, who have temporarily relocated to 29 Northgate.

Similar grant funded works will be undertaken to restore the property and bring upper floors back into use.

The goods taking-in tower at no. 14 is an especially attractive and important historical feature that will be refurbished along with the original upper floor windows and modern Georgian-styled shop front.

Internally, work will create a new fire escape to allow the upper floors to be used as additional workspace for Prism.

Additional works to the adjoining property at 20 Lord Street West, funded separately by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will enable its continued use as Prism Studios, housing local artists and creative businesses.

Once the works are completed, Prism Gallery and Prism Studios will re-open in time for the venues to become a hub for the planning and delivery of the British Textile Biennial and National Festival of Making 2021.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member of Regeneration 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 (former Campbell’s Amusements) and this additional investment will transform the street”.

Jamie Holman, Artist and Director of Prism said:

Access to studio spaces and a contemporary gallery on Lord St West has allowed us to bring over 40 exhibitions to Blackburn, support the National Festival of Making and The British Textile Biennial, and provide working spaces for graduates and local artists. It’s such an exciting time for the arts in Blackburn, the refurbished buildings will allow more young artists and graduates spaces to work and will also bring more world class art to Blackburn.”

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.