A MAJOR town centre venue has announced it is closing the restaurant side of the business but expanding its banqueting hall.

Popular wedding venue Ma'ida in Blackburn, in Eanam, opened in 2010 and was one of the first buffet restaurants in Blackburn.

The building opened as the Shere Khan Restaurant in 2007 after being converted from an Audi car showroom.

After refurbishment in the coming months, the building will reopen in the spring specialising as a wedding and events venue using the extra ground floor space.

A spokesman for Mai'da said: “The restaurant side of the business on the ground floor will close whilst the banqueting side will remain open.

“It will be still be known as Mai'da but we are looking to give it a fresh new look.

“The banqueting side of the business has worked well for us.”

The banqueting hall presently holds 380 guests on the first floor. The restaurant on the ground floor will be converted to accommodate an extra 300 guests.

The spokesman said: “The venue will be able to cater for approximately 700 guests across both floors after the refurbishment.

"We will also be able to host two different events on the same day – one on the first floor and one on the ground floor if needed.".

The banqueting suite has hosted a range of events and weddings over the last eight years including a number of national comedy tours and awards nights.

The restaurant served a mix of Indian and Chinese dishes and in recent years served from a set menu.

It is hoped the new look Maida banqueting and events hall will open in March.