Restored Victorian buildings reopen as a hub for creative industries – Thursday 10 June, 6pm-8pm

Published Wednesday 9 June 2021 at 17:03

Works to restore 14 and 20 Lord Street West have finally completed, bringing the two Victorian properties back into use as Prism Studios and Prism Contemporary Gallery. The exciting new creative hub will also house Pennine Lancashire art commissioners Super Slow Way who have relocated from Burnley, and design agency Source Creative. Together, they are now set to celebrate their long awaited reopening this Thursday with the launch of a stunning new exhibition by Irish artist Pascal Ungerer.

The former shops and warehouses on Lord Street West, dating back to around 1878 are a key part of the Townscape Heritage Project. The properties retain many of their original features and together create one of the most distinctive Victorian façades that remains in the town centre today.

Thanks to almost £200,000 grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the restoration scheme has transformed the buildings inside and out, bringing upper floors back into use and conserving an important part of Blackburn’s built heritage for generations to come.

Jamie Holman, Artists and Director of Prism Contemporary Gallery, said:

The heritage renovations and redevelopment of Lord Street West have provided a space for local creatives, artists, designers and commissioners to bring world class studios and galleries to Blackburn town centre. Blackburn is such an exciting place to be for the creative industries at the moment, with The National Festival of Making, The British Textile Biennial, Prism Contemporary, The Making Rooms and The Bureau bringing the best of contemporary art and design to the town, while Prism studios also hosts ten exciting artists that include a contemporary furniture designer, a mural artist, feminist duo Girls! Girls! Girls! and painters, sculptors and digital artists. Prism Contemporary Art Gallery is relaunching with a new exhibition from Irish artist Pascal Ungerer after his recent solo exhibition in London, and art commissioners Super Slow Way and design agency Source Creative moving into the building, confirming Lord Street West as an exciting new creative hub for Blackburn.

Townscape Heritage Project restoration works are also well underway at neighbouring 10-12 Lord Street West and set to complete this summer. The properties have stood vacant since Mellor’s Wire Works closed in 2012 after trading for over 100 years. Works here will 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. No. 12 will open as a vintage and second-hand furniture business and no.10 will be put on the market to let for a complementary retail or food and drink use.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member of Regeneration, said:

These works were essential to secure the long-term future of historic properties on Lord Street West. Significant private investment has also been made at 9 Lord Street West (former Campbell’s Amusements) and together these projects have transformed the street.

The works are part of a wider plan to restore historic properties in Blackburn town centre that including Northgate and the Blakey Moor Terrace.

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.

Prism Gallery Window

reopening event


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