The redeveloped Darwen Youth Centre will be "an excellent statement piece of architecture on the edge of town", councillors have been told.

Blackburn with Darwen planning manager Gavin Prescott made the comment as councillors approved a £3.3 million scheme to double the Knott Street building in size and upgrade its facilities.

The redevelopment will create a gaming cave, recording studio and new front entrance as well as a relocated and improved multi-use games area (MUGA).

The site is next to the Darwen Town Centre Conservation Area.

On Thursday night Blackburn with Darwen Council's planning committee granted permission for the redevelopment as part of the expansion of the borough's youth zone.

Mr Prescott told the meeting: “The proposed development involves various works to the existing single-storey youth centre to improve and expand its facilities.

"The development is being funded through the government’s Youth Investment Fund.

“Two side extensions are proposed to provide stair towers up to a new first floor level above the existing ground floor.

"A front extension is proposed to provide a new main entrance. The existing MUGA would be relocated.

"Vehicular parking alterations and landscaping works are proposed throughout the site. Internal reconfigurations are also proposed.

"It is carefully thought out and well designed."

Committee chair and Darwen West ward's Cllr Dave Smith said: "It is a fantastic development. It is long overdue.

"The current youth centre and MUGA are too small."

Conservative Councillor Derek Hardman questioned whether the loss of 17 parking spaces would affect local streets.

Borough growth boss Cllr Quesir Mahmood said the shortfall would be dealt with through a review of parking across Darwen as part of the town deal project.

He added: "This great news. Children from across Darwen and the borough will be able to use this fantastic new facility."

His Conservative opposite number Cllr Paul Marrow agreed, adding: "It will be a great asset."