THE top two tiers of scaffolding have now been removed on Blackburn's former Baroque pub exposing its restoration to its former glory.

With the exterior due to be completely refurbished by early April, the former hostelry opposite King George's Hall has now been put on the market for potential tenants.

Revamping The Baroque - formerly Gladstone’s and the Ribblesdale Hotel - is a key first stage in Blackburn with Darwen Council's £3.8million Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project.

This aims to turn the area around Blackburn College and KGH into a quarter of cafes, coffee houses and bars and public spaces.

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The removal of the upper levels of scaffolding has revealed the carefully restored decorative plasterwork produced by Haslingden master plasterer Karl Claydon.

Also visible for the first time is the freshly painted woodwork now in a shade of pale blue appropriate for a building of this period.

Once the scaffolding is fully down, the final job will be the refurbishment of the weathervane using a cherry picker.

Two carpentry and joinery students at Blackburn College - Oscar Newell and Corbyn Jones - have gained work experience on a conservation restoration project by assisting with the project.

The property is currently on the market 'to let' for food and drink use with Brady’s.

Once a tenant is found, internal refurbishment will start to their specification.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “It’s great to see this historic building being restored to its former glory.

"It’s such a landmark in the town.

"The restoration work is very exciting and is being carried out by some real experts.

“It is a great location and could be a fantastic flagship bar or restaurant for the Blakey Moor project.”

The Townscape Heritage Project is jointly funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the borough council.