Work to begin on derelict mill ahead of revamp

Plans to demolish unsafe parts of a "magnificent" Edwardian cotton mill which is set to be turned into a hub for jobs and cultural events in Lancashire have been approved.

Blackburn with Darwen councillors backed the proposal to taken down structurally unsound parts of the 1901 Imperial Mill in the town centre.

The authority bought the listed building, off Gorse Street, last year.

Councillors said they plan to make the mill "the jewel in our crown" after signing off the demolition plans.

Structurally unsafe parts of the 123-year-old canal-side building such as the boiler house, engine room, and a steel structure will be taken down under the plans.

None of the features form part of the original building.

Borough planning manager Gavin Prescott said the proposal was the first in a series of applications to regenerate the building, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Imperial Mill formally opened in 1901 as a cotton mill, with work there ending in 1980.

It was designed by architect Sydney Stott, and according to the council, cost in the region of £120,000 to built, which is more than £12m in today’s money.

The council wants to transform the mill into an employment centre for creative industries and cultural activities.

It has already secured £1 million of government levelling-up cash for the project and will be seeking to pay for much of the rest of the multi-million-pound cost from heritage, lottery and government grants.

Listen to the best of BBC Radio Lancashire on Sounds and follow BBC Lancashire on Facebook, X and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to

Related internet links