A Turkish restaurant which opened in the town centre has closed a year after its launch.

The £500,000 Sofra Turkish Cuisine had its official opening in August last year in what used to be the Jubilee Pub, close to the Reel Cinema.

It was the first establishment to open on the stretch of road which is presently undergoing major redevelopments. The launch created 10 new jobs in full and part-time roles.

Owners of the building said ongoing building work next to the restaurant had not helped.

Zah Hussain who is helping to manage the building said: “The restaurant was a great venture and food was getting good reviews. You can’t fault the staff and team there put in.

“They tried to sustain it, but it was not financially viable.

“The problem has been a combination of things. They have seen rising food and energy costs within a short space of time and these are really tough times for new businesses.

“I think most local businesses are seeing rising prices and they have to pass these on to the customer.

“The cost of food we are told has gone up 35% and utility bills are up by 60%.

“The building work that has been going on for many months can put people off.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Zah said events at King George’s Hall proved to be a bonus.

“It does get busy on show nights as people may want to have a meal before they go to the event. But you can’t sustain a restaurant on that.

“There were also parking issues due to the work going on nearby.”

The Blakey Moor area is undergoing a transformation as part of a Townscape Heritage Project – part funded by Blackburn with Darwen Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund – with work under way to transform the neighbouring Terrace building.

As part of the Townscape Heritage historic buildings in the Northgate Conservation area will also be restored, with work already completed on five.