WORK on the revamp of Brierfield Mills is set to start in the near future, Pendle Council says.

The council bought the derelict site in Glen Way for £1.5million in March, but is now to set to start some survey works to make it ready for redevelopment.

That will include checking the building condition and a ‘soft strip out’ to remove materials that could be attractive to would-be thieves on the former Smith and Nephew site.

Councillors are set to agree to plans to lease the site to the council’s redevelopment partner PEARL for 250 years so that they can begin work.

Dean Langton, chief finance officer at Pendle Council, said: “A long lease is required so that PEARL (Brierfield Mills) Ltd’s ability to secure funding for redevelopment against the site is not fettered in any way.”

The grade II-listed mill has been vacant since medical supplies firm BSN closed down operations more than six years ago. It was purchased by the Birmingham-based disaster relief charity Islamic Help in 2009. It wanted to convert the landmark site into a large Islamic school for girls, but when that fell through the building was abandoned and left to deteriorate.

Since taking over the site, the council has also employed security guards to protect the building from theft and vandalism, and is in the process of installing CCTV.

English Heritage is also to conduct a heritage assessment, which will be used to inform the redevelopment plans that are eventually put in place.

Potential users of the site once it is redeveloped have been invited to open days at the mill to see whether it may be suitable for them once the work is complete.