Works to restore and bring back into use an historic town centre pub have been given the go ahead after the first grant application was approved by the Townscape Heritage Project Grants Panel.
35 Northgate has been in use as a public house/hotel since it was built in the late 19th century, formerly the Ribblesdale Hotel and then more recently rebranded as Gladstones (1990s) and Baroque (2000s). It became vacant in 2014 when Baroque finally closed and was acquired by the Council in 2015 to secure its future.
The property’s poor condition prevented its immediate reuse, but the building’s historical and architectural significance, prominent location and obvious potential for food and drink meant that it was the perfect candidate for a Townscape Heritage Project Grant and presents a major opportunity to start the delivery of the multi-million pound cultural and economic regeneration of the area around King George’s Hall.
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration said,
“The restoration and reuse of Blackburn’s heritage buildings is an important part of the town’s development strategy. Not only will this project bring 35 Northgate back into commercial use, the investment will safeguard the building’s long-term future and will, hopefully, bring another quality offer to the town centre.”
The Townscape Heritage Grants Panel is an independent group of volunteers who will oversee the allocation and approval of the £3 million funding secured to deliver the heritage-led regeneration project. Jointly funded by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will see up to 25 heritage buildings restored over the next 4 years including the Blakey Moor Terrace and properties on Northgate and Lord Street West.
The £91,000 grant awarded to 35 Northgate will enable the Council to undertake essential structural repairs, conservation works to the external brick and stonework and restoration of the original timber framed windows. An additional £70,000 from the Council will match the grant funding to complete phase I and see the property brought back to its former glory.
Conservation building and joinery contractors Rosslee Construction have been awarded the contract to deliver the works and their specialist heritage skills and experience formed a key part of the grant application.
Nadine Ray, Industrial Links Advisor at Blackburn College and Townscape Heritage Grants Panel volunteer said,
“This is a fantastic project that will hopefully set the standard for building restoration in the area. We were particularly impressed by the quality of heritage skills training and work experience opportunities that Rosslee will provide to Blackburn Collage students as part of the project.”
The Council will be seeking a developer/operator partner to deliver phase II, which will include the internal restorations and fitout. A number of local operators have already expressed an interest in the property for a variety of food and drink uses, but to secure the best end user the opportunity will be marketed nationally.
Anyone wishing to express an interest in the property should contact Bradys commercial agents on 0161 8391213.
Also see 35 Northgate