AMBITIOUS plans to transform a former nightclub in Blackburn into a £500,000 entertainment venue have been approved.

The former Switch nightclub building in St Peter Street will be turned into Q Lounge ­— a restaurant with a non-alcoholic cocktail and dessert bar on the ground floor.

There will be an amusement arcade and snooker rooms on the first floor, after plans submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Council were approved.

The building has stood empty since it was run as Code nightclub, which closed just 11 days after opening.

Bosses hope the new scheme will create 25 jobs including chefs, kitchen staff, security, cleaning and admin.

A spokesman for the owners said Blackburn was crying out for a venue like this.

He said: “We’re hoping to be open for April. It’s about giving people somewhere to go because in Blackburn, apart from the gaming area at Vue, there’s not really anything for young people. We’re trying to create something which is all-in-one.

“It’s a 20,000 square foot building and we are going to fill it completely.

“There’s going to be table tennis and air hockey and we’ll have video games rooms with Playstation. It’ll be state of the art with VR gaming.

“We’re looking at around £500,000 to convert the building - it’s a huge investment.

“There’s nowhere in Blackburn like this and it’s going to be something new for the town.”

Planning case officer Rebecca Halliwell said: “The loss of the nightclub use is viewed as a positive step in reducing disturbances to nearby premises in the late evening through to the early hours of the morning.

“It is noted there is only a limited risk to disturbance to residential amenity at the moment as there is little residential use within the immediate area."

Speaking at the time plans were lodged, executive member for growth and development Cllr Phil Riley said: “This building’s day as a nightclub has probably been and gone.

“It’s fair to say the town’s experience with the club was a great deal less than positive. This is a large building in the town centre so if the applicant can make this work then it would be a good addition. It seems like a step in the right direction.”

Code launched at the St Peter Street premises, formerly home to Switch and before that Liquid and Envy, on March 1.

Amid claims of a £100,000 makeover, supporters said they wanted to put Blackburn back on the north west’s clubbing map. But club manager Daniel Benson confirmed he had pulled the venue’s licence amid concerns for customer safety.

Prior to that, the building had housed Switch and Nocturnal.

Switch had been forced to temporarily close in August last year after police and Blackburn with Darwen Council chiefs shut down Nocturnal, which operated out of the same building.

The closure came after a knife fight outside Nocturnal, which left a number of people injured.

Switch then gained its own operating licence but bosses took the decision to close the venue in October, due to a fall in trade.

A spokesman for the developers previously said: “Consistent with the general trend across the UK over the last decade, a number of drinking establishments such as pubs and nightclubs have closed, including several notable examples within Blackburn town centre.

“The town centre and its surrounding area has in fact seen many successful subsequent conversions to alternative uses which result in job creation, sustainable economic development and further consumer choice.

“The applicant has taken some inspiration from the recent granting of consent at the former Stage Door venue next to this site, which will become a high-quality mixed-use restaurant/hotel.

“The town centre has seen much regeneration and investment in recent years, with new forms of leisure developments including cafes and restaurants, modern cocktail bars as well as further leisure provision brought about including the Cathedral Quarter redevelopment.”