An award-winning North West micro-brewery is set to take over a landmark town centre pub building in Blackburn.

Horwich's Blackledge Brewery is in advanced discussions to move into the Ribblesdale Hotel, Gladstone’s and Baroque Bar, in Northgate, Blackburn.

The new tenants hope to be operating before Christmas.

Opposite King George’s Hall, the striking 19th century building was earmarked in 2022 to be the new home of the nearby Shh! Bar after a £350,000 renovation and refurbishment.

But in October that year the owners Michael Mohan and Martin Booth-Morton suddenly pulled out of the move.

This was a huge blow to building owner Blackburn with Darwen Council’s regeneration plans for the historic Northgate area of Blackburn town centre, which is set to become a cultural and leisure quarter.

But now it has been revealed Wayne Roper, co-founder of the Blackedge Brewery, intends to bring its fine craft beers to the Victorian pub.

He said: “As soon as I saw the building, I was really taken by it and I brought my wife and she loved it too.

“It’s in a great location and it feels like a really exciting time for that area with work progressing well on the neighbouring Blakey Moor building.

"It feels like the start of something really good and we want to be a part of it.

“Blackedge Brewery was born out of a love of the US craft beer scene and it started with my brother-in-law Sean and I brewing beer in a shed at the end of my garden.

“We now have a multi-award winning brewery and two award-winning tap rooms: the first The Brewery Bar opened in Horwich in 2015 and The Brewery Tap opened in Westhoughton in 2019.

“They both serve our hand-pulled ales, craft beers and artisan cider and we have the full range of locally-produced spirits from Brindle Distillery.

“We also have occasional live music and pop-up events with food offers.

“The new furniture is already on order and we’ve applied for a licence for outdoor seating.

"We hope to be open late November to early December in time for the countdown to Christmas.

"We can’t wait to open our doors on this new venture in Blackburn.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council growth boss Cllr Quesir Mahmood said: “This is really good news for the Cultural Quarter and for the town centre.

“Our officers have been working hard to find the right tenant for this iconic building and Blackedge Brewery feels like a good fit.

“Our residents have told us they want a really nice, licensed place to go in the late afternoon and evenings. The microbrewery will be a fantastic addition.”

His Conservative group counterpart Cllr Paul Marrow said: "This is fantastic news. The is a shortage of pubs in Blackburn town centre where people can go for a drink.

"I hope unlike the previous prospective tenant The Shh! Bar he actually makes it into the building and makes a success of it."

New hoardings have also recently been installed at the Blakey Moor Building advertising an opportunity for a new restaurant and bar in 2024.