ONE of the first wave of residents of the former Lancashire Telegraph office has spoken of its' 'cool' town centre location.

Graduate Ben Eccles has taken an apartment in Newspaper House in Railway Road, Blackburn, just yards from the Turtle Bay Caribbean bar and restaurant where he works as assistant manager.

So far 16 of the first wave of 28 flats on the top two floors which have been released for renting have been occupied. Six more have been let

The remaining 40 on the lower two floors of the £2.6million redevelopment by Doncaster-based Empire Property Concepts will be released soon.

Mr Eccles, 23, said: “It’s a cool location. It’s a brand new apartment which was partly furnished with a washer, dryer and fridge freezer, and I work just 30 seconds across the road so it’s ideal.

“There’s good transport links too with the train station and bus station nearby and it’s easy to access if I’m driving. It’s the perfect location really!”

Paul Rothwell, Empire’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to have played our part in the transformation of Blackburn town centre and really proud of the quality accommodation at Newspaper House.

“There are many of these disused office buildings in town centres across the country and it’s a real shame to see them standing empty.

“It gives us great pleasure to see people like Ben moving in. He, along with the other occupants, will help to breathe new life into the town centre."

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s regeneration boss, said: “We know that a vibrant town centre can’t just be about retail; we also need to encourage people to come and live here."