A COUNCIL-owned business centre sold for almost three times its guide price at auction.

Blackburn with Darwen Council had listed Brookhouse Business Centre in Whalley Range up for sale, with a guide price of £375,000.

But when the site went under the hammer at a Pugh Auctions sale at Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium yesterday, it fetched £1.03 million.

The business centre contains six self-contained business units, five of which are fully let, producing a yearly income of £38,000.

Pugh managing director Paul Thompson said: “The council is focusing its resources on its other business assets designed to attract inward investment and create jobs, so Brookhouse Business Centre represents an excellent investment prospect and, not surprisingly, it generated significant interest among potential buyers.

“The development is in a well-established mixed commercial and residential area and is less than a mile from Blackburn town centre. There is also the opportunity to extend the development to create additional accommodation, subject to obtaining the required planning consent,” he added.

Town hall chiefs approved to dispose of Brookhouse Business Centre, off Whalley Range, if the right buyer can be found, late last year.

In an executive board report detailing proposals to sell off the site, then-finance chief Cllr Andy Kay said: “The estate has six occupational tenants. Over the years the estate has proved resource intensive to manage. Whilst the estate generally attracts local businesses it has not normally been of particular appeal to users from the wider borough and region.

“Now is believed a suitable time to dispose of the property for the council to realise a capital receipt and focus its resources on estates which are better at promoting inward investment type users and employment creation. Demand is anticipated from business and investors, the property being in an established location of steady demand in normal market conditions.”