THERE was great excitement in 2003 when signs went up on Church Street in Blackburn to announce that work would start on transforming three long-neglected town centre buildings.

The Waterloo Pavilions were built in 1835 and their Georgian splendour meant that they had been granted Grade II status.

It would take more than a year and over £1.3 million to refurbish the distinctive buildings and construct a glass structure to link all three - a project which was praised by English Heritage as being “one of the best restorations in the country”.

Originally a row of nine buildings were constructed over a two year period on Church Street intended for five double and four single shops and all were officially opened in 1837.

The three remaining Pavilions house a beauticians, a dessert bar and a school uniform suppliers.