Blackburn BID Member The Exchange’s £9m refurbishment approved

The £9m redevelopment of Blackburn’s The Exchange Grade II listed complex has been approved.

The proposals for the Cotton Exchange in King William Street, Blackburn, were praised as a major improvement at the council’s planning meeting.

The scheme will transform the building, which opened in 1865, with community and workspaces and an upgraded cafe.  The main storey will be restored and become an open-plan performance and exhibition and meeting space.

A new mezzanine floor with a cafe/bar will be created while the 1920s block – used as back office space in the building’s days as the Apollo 5 cinema – will be refurbished with a roof terrace and bar.

The existing octagonal towered main entrance at the junction of King William Street, Exchange Street and Museum Street will also be restored.  The approval includes a set of conditions aimed at preserving the building’s historic and architectural significance.

A report to BwD councillors said:

“The proposed developments involve the complete refurbishment of the Grade II listed former Cotton Exchange/Apollo Cinema.  Partial demolition of the 1920s block roof would be implemented.  The application site is a Grade II listed building that is located within Blackburn Town Centre and the Northgate Conservation Area.  Internally, the building is currently in a state of disrepair.  The wider proposals would see the retention and repair of the key structure, retaining the important detail and providing a new viable re-use for the important town centre building.  Most importantly, the scheme will help sustain the longer-term significance and conservation of the building.”