THIS postcard of 38 and 40 Northgate in Blackburn when it was the Alliance Hotel in 1905 has sparked the interest of bosses of the scheme to revive the historic quarter around it.

Julia Simpson, manager of the £3.8million Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project is keen to find out more about the premises and contact the landlord about grant aid to reinstate its Victorian frontage.

She spotted the 1905 postcard with The Alliance Hotel looking like a pub - something neither she or her team knew.

They were aware that by 1907 it had become the premises of Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon - Blackburn's pioneers of film.

Since then it has gone through various uses, most recently as discount or convenience stores.

One researcher contact the heritage project team to say that Census records showed that in the 1890's to early 1900's it was known as Mitchell's Alliance Temperance Hotel .

He wondered if that was a coincidence or whether Sagar Mitchell's family actually owned the building.

Now Ms Simpson is keen to get the owners involved in the project which offers 80 per cent renovation grants to suitable buildings coming from the £1.5.million each contributed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The scheme aims to restore Blakey Moor Terrace, Northgate and Lord Street West and give a facelift to King George’s Hall.

Ms Simpson said: "It would be amazing to convince the owners to apply for our grant to reinstate the traditional frontage and lovely windows."

The first grant under the scheme was awarded this month to refurbish and bring back into use 35 Northgate in Blackburn, last open as Baroque but formerly known as Gladstone’s and The Ribblesdale Hotel.