THE semi-derelict former Transdev/Lancashire United bus depot in Blackburn town centre could be brought back into life as a charity and recycling centre.

Up 10 otherwise homeless people would live at the site under supervision.

The garage in Manner Sutton Street in Eanam closed in 2011.


It was bought by Blackburn with Darwen Council and now the borough is poised to sell it to a Lancashire-based charity which helps 'marginalised people back into stable, independent living'.

The deal was approved by finance boss Andy Kay last week and now final talks for the transfer of the site are underway.

The charity's associated social enterprise will run the site as a recycling centre for items such as metal, scrap cars, tyres, plastics, TVs and redundant household items for sale.

The money raised from the recycling operation will help provide the homeless and others on the margins of society with training, education, work experience and employment.

It will also provide accommodation for up to 10 workers who would otherwise be homeless or itinerant.

A report to Coun Kay said the depot, originally used by Ribble Motor Services, was in 'a poor and deteriorating condition'.

The council bought the garage when Transdev Lancashire United moved all its operations to the former Blackburn Transport depot in Intack.

It wanted control of the site to stop a retail development springing up in competition with its own plans to regenerate the town centre.

The social enterprise is prepared to undertake extensive demolition and repair work and remove an asbestos roof.

Councillor Kay said: "This building is not in a good state.

"This is a good use of the site which does not compete with our town centre plans.

"It takes away the costs of maintaining the building and the council taxpayer will not lose out."

Shear Brow councillor Hanif Khonat said: "I am really pleased.

"The building is an eyesore and this will put it to good use. It is semi-derelict."

Blackburn with Darwen social care boss Mohammed Khan has visited the site and seen the plans.

He supports the scheme as being in line with the borough's policies for getting vulnerable adults and those with problems back into mainstream society and work.

A previous scheme to use the building as a furniture store by Twin Valley Homes in 2013 was abandoned.