COUNCIL chiefs say proposals for a major revamp for Darwen Market will be lodged before the end of 2024.

And stallholders will move to a temporary market in 2025 as part of the regeneration scheme.

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said: "The many stalls and businesses will continue to trade right throughout the works, with the council urging people to continue supporting them and enjoying all the town centre has to offer, including the many events planned throughout the year."

More than £20m has been pledged to improve Darwen Market, Darwen Library Theatre and Darwen Youth Centre, with a further £20m of new funding available through the government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns Scheme.

The three major projects need detailed planning - both to make sure what the council does is right and, given they are logistically close together, ensure the schemes are carefully co-ordinated.

So far, the council has secured £3.3m of new funding for Darwen Youth Centre through the government’s Youth Investment Fund.

Lancashire Telegraph:  Darwen Youth Centre Darwen Youth Centre (Image: BwD Council)

It means the council will be able to double the size of the existing Knott Street facility by adding an extra level.

The funding for this project needs to be spent quickly and residents in Darwen can expect to see work start there first.

Planning permission has already been secured and the youth centre is set to close for the works on March 31.

While the work is under way, the parking at Darwen Railway Station and Atlas Road will be free and young people will be able to continue to access activities at venues across the town, including at the new Darwen Youth Zone base in Railway Road.

Through the £100m Darwen Town Deal, including support from Blackburn with Darwen Council, millions of pounds have been set aside to restore the historic Market Hall, supporting its future at the heart of the town.

A planning application will be brought forward this year with the traders now expected to move to a temporary market in early 2025.

Lancashire Telegraph: Darwen town centreDarwen town centre (Image: BwD Council)

Finally, and also supported by the Darwen Town Deal, Darwen’s beautiful Carnegie library and theatre will also benefit from major investment.

Plans for that are due to be announced in the coming months with work expected to start this year.

Before any work does get under way, the Library Theatre will once again be a main venue for the ever-popular Darwen Music Live, which is set to return over the weekend of May 25 and 26.

Lancashire Telegraph: Darwen Library TheatreDarwen Library Theatre (Image: BwD Council)

In addition to those already mentioned, Darwen will also benefit from £20m of new funding through the government’s Long-Term Plan for Towns scheme.

The council is working on a delivery plan in consultation with residents and businesses to ensure its bid focuses on what matters most to those living in Darwen.

The plan is set to be submitted this summer with the £20m available over the next decade.

Councillor Phil Riley, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “There is a huge amount of effort going in behind the scenes to make the very best of this new investment for Darwen.

“We want to make sure that what we do is right for the town, for our residents and for the businesses here. We also want to make sure it’ll have real impact.

“It’s a huge testament to the council’s track record of delivering that we keep securing government investment on this scale – a real stamp of approval on our £1bn vision for the future and the strategic plans we have in place.

“Of course, we need to plan carefully as our priority is to create a thriving town centre, one which supports existing businesses, including our market traders, and offers opportunities for the future.

“We’re excited to be able to share more on our plans soon – plans focused on what residents and businesses have told us are important to them.”

Last week it was also announced that £200,000 has been committed by Blackburn with Darwen Council for playground upgrades over the coming year at Bold Venture and Whitehall Park.