NEW life is set to breathed into a historic former cinema and nightclub complex in Rawtenstall.

Plans have been submitted by Hurstwood Holdings for 42 two-bed apartments with parking and landscaping as part of a redevelopment of the Heritage Arcade on Bacup Road.

The arcade was first built as The Picture House cinema in 1920 before being converted into a shopping arcade in the 1990s, but has been vacant for some time.

It also includes the former Zazu and Vogue nightclubs (former Billiard Hall), and the scheme, designed by Baldwin Design Consultancy, will keep the key elements of the Art Deco building, including the retention of the distinctive façade.

Sam Ashworth, development manager at Hurstwood Holdings, said: “As a company that originates from Rossendale, we are always keen to work on projects that further enhance and benefit our home town.

“We have worked closely with both Rossendale Borough Council and Historic England over the last two years to create a scheme that not only sensitively restores and retains many of its important original features, but also breathes new life back into this neglected and semi-derelict building that has remained empty for many years.”

“We have been really encouraged by the support we have already received from many local residents and businesses who are keen to see something positive finally happen to this forgotten building. Rossendale continues to benefit from significant investment as part of its ongoing redevelopment and this scheme will be another important step in its transformation.”

Cllr Joseph Stevens, who represents the Longholme ward, said: “I welcome any plans to bring the old Picture House back into use.

“The building is in a prime location in our evolving town centre, which makes it a good prospect for a number of uses. I’m confident that our Planning Committee will come to the correct decision as to the suitability of the plans.

"I feel that it will really benefit our town centre in Rawtenstall to bring a potential landmark building back to its former glory, and put it to good use.