The next step in the multi-million pound transformation of Accrington town centre is set to be taken with councillors urged to approve the total refurbishment of its Market Chambers.

Hyndburn Council's planning committee has been recommended to grant permission on Thursday for the £5 million redevelopment of the building (opposite the town's Market Hall) into a heritage and cultural space.

The project was last month given £463,056 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to work up final plans for the scheme.

It is one of three major projects in the council's Accrington Town Centre Masterplan which will see the redevelopment Burtons Chambers, the Market Hall, and Market Chambers for which £70m of government levelling up cash and other investment has been secured.

Lancashire Telegraph: How Market Chambers looks nowHow Market Chambers looks now

A planning officers report, recommending approval with nine conditions including the installation of six swift nest boxes, says: "Market Chambers is a part three and part four storey building, which comprises three terraced buildings (Market Chambers, former Bradshaw’s Building and the former Woolworth Building) currently subject to a mix of uses designed by Henry Ross and originally constructed in 1894.

"This planning application is part of a suite of proposals for improvements in the town centre, within Accrington Town Square, to be progressed over the next two to three years.

"Overall, the purpose of the proposed repair and alterations to the Market Chambers is to enable its transformation into cultural/community facilities with ancillary café and gift shop.

Lancashire Telegraph: How the renovated Market Chambers will look

"Bringing this semi-vacant underused building into a sustainable and economically viable use under common ownership and operation would bring many public benefits, allowing the building to be returned to and maintained in a good state of repair and appearance, thereby better revealing its architectural, aesthetical and historical significance and securing its long-term conservation.

"Furthermore, the proposed use of Market Chambers as cultural/community facilities would allow it to remain publicly accessible to the local residents and enhance the footfall of the visitors to building and the Accrington Town Centre which is considered to be another significant public benefit associated with this proposal.

"The proposal would bring back into use a semi-vacant under-used local landmark building and provide a cultural/community facilities for the enjoyment of the members of public, preserve/enhance the setting and character of other designated heritage assets within its immediate context, and enhance the opportunity for the regeneration of the Accrington Town Centre.

"Externally, the proposal includes the replacement of the ground floor shopfronts, glazing and doors with bronze-coloured cladding in shopfront style and stall risers with a featured patterns, the formation of a new central doorway facing onto the market square to serve as the main entrance into the single integrated building and the closure of two other entrances (to become exhibition windows)."