THE first artist impressions for Blackburn’s ambitious £25million Cathedral Quarter scheme have been released.

The closely-guarded proposals to provide a complex including a hotel, the first clergy court and cloister garden for a major Church building for 570 years, restaurants shops, public square and bus interchange have been submitted to the borough council.

The move is a major step forward in the transformation of the Boulevard and West of the town centre following the construction £66 million Mall shopping centre and £8 million new market.

With plans unveiled earlier this year for the £5 million new bus station in Ainsworth Street, council chiefs were waiting for the final details of the Cathedral Court to be slotted in to the Blackburn central masterplan.

The name of the major national company to run the 60-bed, six-storey hotel is expected to be announced shortly.

Today Maple Grove Developments lodged a joint planning application with Blackb-urn Cathedral for the ambitious 118,000 square foot scheme.

Coun Dave Harling, executive member for regeneration at Black-burn with Darwen Bor-ough Council, said: “This is very exciting news for the whole borough.

“The development of the Cathedral Quarter is part of an ambitious 15- year vision, which we have been determined to see become a reality.

“The development will bring much needed jobs to the town and will be an impressive addition to the town centre which has already seen a new shopping centre, new market and new youth zone.

“Together with the new bus station, this will completely transform an important part of the town centre and bring all the new developments together as one.”

The Dean of Blackburn Cathedral Christopher Armstrong said: “From the outset our vision has been for the Clergy to be housed right next to the Cathedral and thereby be at the heart of the community we serve.

“We are proud to be playing a pioneering role in the regeneration of Blackburn, encouraging local people to follow our lead and live and work in the town centre.”