Demolition work has officially started on a former Barclays bank in Bacup, as part of the town’s £8.3 million of levelling up transformation.

Once the Market Street building is demolished, it will open the way to the redevelopment of the town’s new Temple Court Market.

The bank site, which is split into two levels, will be one of three entrances to the new-look market – the others being the south entrance in Union Street and the north entrance in Tower Street.

Lancashire Telegraph: Work has started on the demolition of the former Barclays Bank building in Market Street, Bacup, opening the way to the development of the marketWork has started on the demolition of the former Barclays Bank building in Market Street, Bacup, opening the way to the development of the market (Image: Viva PR)

Rossendale Council plans to build a new market hall on the lower level while the upper level will see the development of a cycle hub.

Architects are presently working on final designs for the market.

AW Demolition, of Manchester, has been erecting scaffolding and hoardings around the building over the last week and along with council officials will be regularly liaising with market traders.

The work is expected to take eight to 10 weeks after which ground surveys will take place in advance of the market development.

During demolition the footpath immediately in front of the building will be closed and the bus stop for the 464 Rochdale to Accrington service will be moved a short distance.

The road will remain open to traffic without any diversions.

Demolition work will be carried out Monday to Friday during normal working hours.

On Wednesdays and Fridays work will be arranged so as not to impact on market trade.

Water sprays will be used to suppress dust.

Barclays closed the branch around 10 years ago having offered services there since it was built in the 1950s.

Councillor Barbara Ashworth, lead member of communities at Rossendale Council, said: “The demolition of the bank building is the start of making Bacup town centre a more vibrant place offering a variety of retail and hospitality venues.

“The new market hall and stalls plus the cycle hub, for local and visiting cycle enthusiasts, will provide a welcoming destination.

"It is hoped the cycle hub will include bike sales, repairs and rentals and introduce to people to the Adrenaline Valley cycle routes as well as the more usual road cycling ways.

“With the increased footfall it is hoped other shops in the centre will come to life more than ever before.”

She added: “For the new Temple Court market design team, the demolition of the former bank is vital to ensure they obtain the ground information required to design the buildings supporting structure.”

A consultancy spokesperson said: “We believe that the future of our High Streets and town centres will be led by exciting, independent outlets and experiences.

"Providing a home to these offers, and forming the heart of the local community, will be markets and food halls.

"A successful market and food hall will create opportunities for these businesses to thrive, offering critical mass, footfall driving events, and coordinated marketing.

“These venues act as community hubs, bringing together street food, shopping, entertainment, community activities and family experiences to create venues which go beyond buying and selling, the modern market and food hall.

"They will create a distinct sense of place that local people can be proud of and feel a part of.” 

Jake Berry,  MP for Rossendale and Darwen, said: “It is the first visible piece of evidence of the transformation of this town, which has been paid for by £8.3m of levelling up cash.

“It’s not about dropping things down it’s about building this town up again.

“That’s why you’re going to see the market transformed, new street scenes, new ways of getting around your town, ensuring that this fantastically preserved mill town in the heart of Lancashire is a great place to live, work and visit.”

The latest architect plans for the new market are to be discussed by the council’s cabinet members early in February and once approved will go out to public consultation.