A LOCAL authority joint venture is to buy a deteriorating building to boost a town centre regeneration project.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley has authorised the purchase of the Blakey Moor Building on Feilden Street.

It currently belongs to Blackburn College.

The purchase by Barnfield Blackburn Ltd ( a joint venture with Brierfield's Barnfield Group) will support the council's £3.8million Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project.

A report to Cllr Riley and borough finance boss Cllr Vicky McGurk says: "This acquisition will support the council’s town centre regeneration proposals in the surrounding area.

"Blakey Moor Building is a L-shaped former education building owned by Blackburn College arranged over lower ground, ground and first floors extending to 43,110 square feet, with a small external car park.

"The building is located in Blackburn town centre in close proximity to King George’s Hall and the newly-constructed Reel Cinema.

"The property has been vacant since 2012 and has deteriorated into a poor state of repair.

"The council is keen to see the building redeveloped and have been in discussions with the college to acquire the building for a number of years.

"Should the building and car park be acquired by someone other than the council, this could have a detrimental impact on the council’s regeneration plans for the area by an inappropriate use, low quality development or long-term empty building.

"Barnfield Blackburn Ltd have agreed a figure to acquire the property subject to contract.

"Following acquisition the joint venture company will progress with works to make the property safe and bring it back into use.

"This development scheme will be used to apply for future grant funding possibilities, with a variety of end-user options to be considered including leisure, office and hospitality, or a mix of uses."