DIRECTORS of an arts centre run entirely by volunteers hope selling alcohol will help make the venture sustainable.

The Bureau arts centre in Victoria Street in the old St John’s church that used to house Blackburn’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau opened in 2015 after the CAB moved into the library.

The facility does not receive any core funding and directors have applied for an alcohol licence to run alongside events they hold in the hopes that any money brought in will help cover the costs of running the building.

It is hoped the money brought in from selling alcohol would help the facility continue to provide an affordable arts venue in the town centre.

Director Kerris Casey-St. Pierre said: “Our application for a licence is so we can serve drinks at theatre and music events, and for any private bookings for weddings etc in order to bring in income to help us be sustainable.

“We are currently volunteer run and have no core funding, so this will help us to cover the costs of running the building, hopefully help to pay staff and any further profit will be put into providing affordable and accessible arts activities for all.

If the licence application is successful, alcohol could be served at the venue between 10am to 6am, though bosses stress it is not indicative of plans to keep the centre open late.

Ms Casey-St. Pierre said: “We will absolutely not be opening a permanent bar as that is not what we are about.

“Our aims are about creating a space for arts and culture, providing accessible opportunities, building creative communities.

“The long hours on the application are to cover the variety of events that we cater for and don’t reflect the actual times we will be open in any one week.”

The Bureau plays host to a variety of music events, theatre performances, a regular film club and also has a traditional photographic darkroom.

It is also the home of Stone Soup Café, a non-profit junk food café which provides meals on a pay-as-you-feel basis.

St John’s Church is believed to be the oldest building in Blackburn town centre.

It was founded in 1788 and was granted grade-II listed status in 1951 before closing as a church in 1975.