A TILE industry veteran is looking to bring nearly 40 years of experience to bear as he looks to revive a Blackburn trade outlet.

Andrew Hulse has worked for some of the tiling trade's major names, including Villeroy-Boch and Vita, in national sales positions.

And when he learned of what had happened to East Lancs Tile Centre, in Bolton Road, which ran into difficulties around two months ago, he decided to step in.

The Helmshore-based businessman has now reopened the premises, near Wainwright's Bridge, and is looking to overhaul the shop as part of a fresh start there.

He told the Telegraph: "I've been in tiling for 37 years and I've been a national sales manager working, in several countries, from Turkey to Italy, Spain and Poland, so I wanted to use my experience to make a difference.

"East Lancs Tile Centre had been a customer of mine for almost all of my working life so when I found out what had happened, I contacted Colin Edmundson, the landlord of the building, and he was keen for me to take it over."

Mr Hulse, who has also worked as an area sales manager for Pilkingtons Tiles, intends to run the store as East Lancs Tile Centre but ihe has confirmed t will have no connections with the previous outfit, which went into administration in September.

He added: "I've managed to take back on a couple of the former members of staff from the tile centre already.

"We're going to revamp and modernise the store - we're already undergoing a soft opening now and we will do the rest of the work gradually over the next few weeks, improving the signage and updating the showroom."

The former owners had racked up debts totalling £380,382 on the original company, East Lancs Tile Centre (Blackburn) which had traded since the mid-70s. One of their major creditors was Mr Edmundson, of Buncer Lane, Blackburn.

Competition in the domestic tiling game is said to be especially fierce across the Blackburn area.

Earlier this year Blackburn Tile Centre, based at the corner of Higher Eanam and Higher Audley Street, announced ambitious plans to relocate and expand.

Management at the firm, which also has a sister site in Burnley, were looking to move into the former Blackburn Motor Park premises in Pendle Street, with hopes on taking on around 20 more staff.

The town centre is also home to Al-Murad Tiles, also on Bolton Road, a branch of Topps tiles in Grimshaw Park and the B&Q superstore at Nova Scotia retail park also has ranges.