THE former HSBC bank in Darwen town centre looks set to become a restaurant after plans were submitted.

The sought-after building was taken over by the owners of a restaurant, cocktail bar and takeaway business earlier this year.

It had been the subject of much attention as Darwen Town Council revealed it wanted to take over the former bank in The Circus to open a heritage centre.

Those plans were scuppered when it emerged the owners of the Godfather takeaway and Amalfi Lounge restaurant and cocktail bar had bought the building, which had been listed at £150,000. Shaz and Keyvan Fani, who run the business in Duckworth Street, have submitted plans to Blackburn with Darwen Council requesting the use of the building be changed to a restaurant and drinking establishment.

A design and access statement said: “The intended restaurant use is a pizzeria serving fresh handmade pizzas and pastas, which will also have a bar. The businessmen have experience in this trade as they already run successful restaurants in the Darwen area so there is very little chance this building will become derelict.

“The proposed opening hours are 9am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 3am Friday and Saturday.

“It is not anticipated that the proposal would lead to an increase in disturbance from additional customers as the building is nestled within existing commercial buildings within a busy town centre.”

Sunnyhurst councillor Pete Hollings said he was delighted at the proposal. He said: “I think it is brilliant. It will be another jewel in Darwen’s crown as far as the nightlife is concerned. The town is going from strength to strength and there are a lot of places for people to go on a night out.

“It is a shame we didn’t get in in time to develop the heritage centre there but I am just glad the building is going to be brought back into permanent use.”