PLANS to convert a museum heralded as a vital part of a town's heritage into a centre for former drug addicts have been officially submitted.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has applied to itself for permission to carry out a £500,000 revamp of Lewis Textile Museum, Exchange Street, Blackburn.

The council wants to install a beauty therapy room, a computer suite, five interview rooms, a reception, group rooms and training kitchens in the grade II listed building.

The museum, which saw its collection re-housed at the Blackburn Museum last month, was closed in April 2006 to save £23,000 a year.

The planning application reveals that second-floor ceilings are rotted and the "dilapidated" basement will be dry lined.

It added: "Water penetration is evident to the building, and it is suspected that the chimney stack pointing and flashings require replacement."

The Blackburn Community Safety Partnership, which will run the venue, said it will offer reading, writing, and basic life skills lessons to clean' addicts.

The partnership, including chiefs from the police, council and health bodies, insisted it would not be used as a hostel, and drugs like methadone, used to treat heroin addiction, would not be administered from the site.