ONE of East Lancashire's 'jewels' is in need of repair work to tackle dry rot and wet rot issues.

Grade I listed Towneley Hall in Burnley, which has served as a backdrop for BBC2's Antique Masters, will be the subject of a significant overhaul in early 2019.

Decaying rafters, fungal growths and common furniture beetle infestations have also been reported within the structure.

A surveyor's report says: "The building has been subject to water ingress and this has resulted in an outbreak of dry rot, throughout the building.

"This has caused significant damage to the historic fabric of the building. Urgent action is needed to protect the building from further deterioration."

Initial problems were identified on a second flood landing before further inspections revealed issues within the art gallery, third floor landing and the nearby taxidermy room.

Some of the specifications for the project will need to be agreed with English Heritage. The hall was first constructed around 1400, extended in the 1700s and remodelled a century later.

Council chiefs have confirmed the work is still out for tender and no final costings are available. Councillors are expected to be updated when the authority's third-quarter spending plans are released.

But an estimate for the dry rot work alone, submitted with a new planning application, is for nearly £110,000.

A Burnley Council spokesman said: "For a building of its age, the overall condition of the hall is remarkably good. Major maintenance work is, however, inevitable to preserve this precious Grade I listed building for this and the next generation.

"Work is expected to start on the roof when the weather improves in the spring. Work in the interior will start once the roof has been fixed, so some areas will be closed off to the public during that time. Most of the hall will remain open."

The hall has been in the council's hands since the last of the Towneleys died out and Lady O'Hagan sold the site to the former Burnley Corporation in 1901.