WORK to knock down Blackburn’s landmark Thwaites tower will start on Monday.

The aluminium-clad structure, which has dominated the town’s skyline since the 1960s, will come down brick-by-brick from the top.

It will take several weeks for specialist contractor PP O’Connor to demolish the tower brewhouse and salvage as much of its contents, stainless steel brewing vessels for reuse.

Company bosses also hope the Thwaites lettering and clock face advertising ‘Time for Thwaites’ can be recycled

The tower was the most iconic feature of the 212-year-old company’s new brewery built between 1964 and 1966.

The brewery on Penny Street moved to its new home at Sykes Holt in Mellor Brook in August 2018 but demolition of the tower was delayed after a pair of peregrine falcons nested and hatched two chicks which fledged in July.

Company chairman Rick Bailey said: “Since opening in the late 1960s the Thwaites brewery tower has become an iconic part of Blackburn town centre for nearly 50 years, but sadly now the time has come for it to be dismantled.

“It was the vision of John Yerburgh, the company’s chairman at the time, who built the new brewery using the finest brewing manufacturer and engineers in the world. He created a state of the art installation, the most modern brewery in the country and people came from around the country to visit.

“It served the company and the people of Blackburn well over the following half a century.

“Since it was built the beer market has changed beyond recognition and people started to drink different types of beer. As a result Thwaites went back to its roots, now brewing beer exclusively for its own properties, in Blackburn, Lancashire, the North West and beyond.

"Whilst this has proven to be a sound business decision, in turn this needed a smaller, more efficient brewery, which was built in 2018, on a new site in Mellor Brook at the foot of the Ribble Valley.

“Although the previous site is nostalgic, we are delighted with our new home. We will miss Blackburn town centre, but have no doubt that in the fullness of time a better purpose will be found for the old brewery site which will help to spark regeneration in the town.”

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s regeneration boss, said: “The brewery moved from Blackburn last year so the tower’s demolition was inevitable so the site can be redeveloped. It has been a landmark in the town’s skyline for 50 years and will be missed.”