IT was a project known as Phase III of the regeneration of Blackburn shopping centre.

While that might sound uninspiring it was big news for shoppers in the town as among additions would ultimately be a new Debenhams - the flagship outlet for the centre.

These photographs taken in 1978 show how land running alongside Church Street was cleared and a major operation began to add extra units to the shopping centre.

Pilings were driven into the ground and a web of steel and concrete gradually rose into the sky for the multi-story building.