A STUNNING Victorian arcade is set to have a bright future thanks to a partnership between the new owner and Rossendale Council.

Since buying the freehold to historic Trickett’s Victorian Arcade located in the centre of Waterfoot, Lisa Real Estate Ltd has made huge inroads in preparing the building for future use.

The landmark triangular corner building has shop fronts on Burnley Road East and further businesses on Victoria Parade with a large vacant space inside and indoor shop fronts that mirror the retail spaces on the streets.

It is nearly 70 years since the internal space was used and most local residents have never been inside the building.

Rossendale Council’s Business Advisor Brad Hacking is working with owner’s agent Jan Parteka to identify a suitable business that wants to invest and develop the vacant space inside the arcade.

Jan said: “When I saw this building it took my breath away. I have decided to make it a personal project to turn this building around, bring it back to life and invest in Waterfoot.”

When Lisa Real Estate Ltd bought the arcade 18 months ago, they found the middle of the building was full of rubbish and with people sleeping rough.

Burnley firm Atlas Environmental Services were employed to undertake a site clearance programme, implement a vermin control policy and have a contract to maintain managerial oversight of the Arcade much to the delight of tenants in the shops on the building’s perimeter.

The next stage, once permission is granted, is to improve the exterior of the Grade II Listed building, in order to bring the exterior back to its former glory and introduce uniformity to the shop frontages and signage. It is hoped that with support from the team at Rossendale Borough Council’s Economic Development Unit, work can be completed in as short a time as possible.

Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: "It is refreshing to hear how positive and determined the new owners are about the future of Trickett's Victorian Arcade. It is a landmark building in the centre of Waterfoot that really needs to be brought back into full use and it is great that the council is able to work in partnership to make this happen."

Jan said: “We want to make this arcade a destination location. The internal space would lend itself to a hospitality / entertainment venue which could include a restaurant or a music venue - it really is a very flexible space located in the centre of town and is easily accessible”.

“We will be repairing the infrastructure on the inside of the building but leaving it as a blank canvas so whoever sees the potential and takes on the space will be able to make it their own. It is hoped it could create up to 40 jobs.

“All of the work we are doing will be carried out sympathetically and in keeping with the character of the building.”

The council and Jan have already been in contact with interested parties.

Brad said: “We are looking for a partner to come in and take up a long-term lease to give stability to the arcade and also the businesses in the surrounding area.

“This development will be at the forefront of Rossendale’s recovery from Covid and it offers huge potential for Waterfoot and its community. It is too good a building to lose.”

When the arcade opened in 1898, up to 15,000 people attended. Although there has always been retail, salon and take-away use of the street-fronted premises, the inside has been vacant for at least 50 years.

Anyone interested in becoming a partner in the redevelopment of Trickett’s Victorian Arcade should contact Brad Hacking on economicdevelopment@rossendalebc.gov.uk