COUNCILLORS are reviewing long-delayed plans to renovate an historic building blighted by arson and vandalism.

In 2016, Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan said the authority was working with a public partner to maintain Griffin Lodge and Coach House, Cavendish Place, Blackburn, and “develop it for the benefit of the local population”.

But the scheme has since stalled and now the building could be sold off.

Cllr Andy Kay will update members on the plan at an executive board meeting on Thursday.

He said: “A request is made to slip the budget of £300,000 into 2019/20 is made as the scheme is currently under review subject to the freehold sale of the building.”

It was last occupied in 2006 as home of the North West Museums Service but the Grade II-listed building has been left empty since April that year.

The council introduced security measures in a bid to protect the building but it has since fallen into disrepair as a result of vandalism and arson attacks.

Work on the lodge was completed in 2016 to remove fire-damaged materials and make safe dangerous parts of the building.

This was to enable the building to be safely inspected internally and survey work to be carried out.

That followed an arson attack in October 2013 which left the building as a burned-out shell and another in January 2014 which destroyed the stables.

Griffin Lodge and coach house were built in 1824 by the Blackburn cotton magnate Thomas Dugdale, who was instrumental in bringing the first railway to the town.

Dugdale was also mayor of Blackburn in 1854/5 in which time the surrounding 50 acres of land were bought by the Blackburn Corporation to be used as a public park.

The house remained owned by the Dugdale family until the mid-1930s. It was bought by Blackburn Corporation in 1937.

The entrance and stone setts of the roadway were Grade II-listed in 1974 with the whole building being included under the listing in 1986.

The coach house has stood empty for more than 10 years and has been the subject of several attempted sales by the council since the mid 1990s.

Prior to the review, the council had been working with a public sector partner with a view to maintaining the listed status of the property and developing a facility for the public's benefit.