The roof repairs needed as the first stage of an £8 million facelift for Blackburn's King George's Hall have been approved by councillors.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's planning committee on Thursday night gave the go ahead for the works to the Grade II listed building, which is East Lancashire’s premier entertainment venue.

It is a major step forward for the complete refurbishment proposals for the hall in the town centre's Northgate.

The money will come from a Levelling Up grant of £20m to Blackburn with Darwen Council from the government.

The proposed consist of the repair and replacement of slanted and flat roof, rooflights, roof access system, and rainwater goods.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Phil Riley welcomed the committee's approval.

He said: "“These schemes take time to get right, but we are absolutely committed and welcome the King George’s Hall planning applications being passed.”

Cllr Riley added that the Levelling Up cash would also help pay for works to refurbish to The Cotton Exchange and Tony’s Ballroom –' buildings that residents tell us are really important to them and our towns'.

A report to Thursday's meeting by borough planning manager Gavin Prescott said: "The works are urgently required to be undertaken to prevent the hall from falling into further disrepair.

"The roofs require urgent replacement to remedy the ongoing widespread water ingress affecting the building.

"There are 15 roofs to the hall, many of which are in a very poor condition.

"Water ingress is clearly visible within the auditorium, which if left unrepaired, will lead to further damage to the internal finishes/fixings.

"It is considered that the the repair works have been adequately justified and reasoned, and they will not result in any substantive harm to the listed building, and no harm to the contribution made by the setting of the nearby Grade II listed buildings or the character and appearance of the Northgate Conservation Area."