BURNLEY’s biggest and most well-known nightclub has closed.

Lava and Ignite, which opened in Hammerton Street in 2001 in the former 19th century Proctor's Mill foundry, has shut with the loss of 19 jobs.

But club bosses said they would return to the town if conditions improved.

Tony Gorbert, northern regional director of Luminar Group, which owns the venue, said: “Following a long-term decline in footfall in the town centre, we have taken the difficult decision to close Lava and Ignite in Burnley. We would like to thank our loyal customers and all our employees, who have worked so hard in tough operating conditions to provide a fun, safe and great value night out.

“If and when local conditions improve, we hope to be in a position to reopen the club.”

Luminar's Blackburn venue Liquid and Envy is not closing, the firm said.

Kev Riley, who used to run Fusion and the Red Room in Burnley, said: “I never thought I would see the day when Lava and Ignite closed down. I think it’s a reflection on Burnley nightlife at the moment.

“Bars are changing hands regularly and people are struggling to make a go of them.

“Lava and Ignite used to get decent DJs and acts on, but in the end they went down the route of cheap drinks rather than spending on getting good people in.”

Leon Kelly, who used to run the Level One nightclub in Burnley, said: “It is a real shame but I’m not surprised. Five years ago there would be 1,400 people in there on a Friday night and 2,500 on a Saturday. Now I’m led to believe that there are 250 in on a Friday and 600 on a Saturday.

“There is over-saturation in Burnley, and then people are drinking at home and coming into town later.”

Burnley clubbers took to Twitter to express their views.

Danny Haslam said: “Ignite is being shut down. Burnley will never be the same.”

But Chris Horner tweeted: “Lava and Ignite not making money in Burnley doesn't really surprise me. Especially when they charged £6 to get in.”

Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley’s Chamber of Trade, said: “Burnley has a pretty big night-time economy and I think it is strong enough to survive this closure. Of course nobody likes to see 19 people lose their job, but that is the way of things unfortunately.

“I am concerned about the future of the building. It is a well known building and the work Lava and Ignite did on bringing a derelict building back into use was very welcome.”