The tenders for contractors to undertake the £ 8 million revamp of Blackburn's King George's Hall are being issued, with work scheduled to start in July and August.

The first tenders are for asbestos removal and strip out and the replacement of the lift cars at East Lancashire's premier entertainment venue.

There will be a second Phase Two exercise to find a firm to oversee 'the delivery of a package of works for improvements'.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's growth boss Cllr Quesir Mahmood has authorised the start of the process for 'suitably qualified and experienced contractors to undertake the management, co-ordination, and delivery of a package of works for improvements to King George’s Hall, Northgate Blackburn'.

The overall allocated capital budget for the total overhaul of the building - opened in 1921 and last extensively renovated in 1994 - is £8 million, to be paid for by the authority's Levelling Up Partnership with the government.

In a report to councillors, Cllr Mahmood says: "It is proposed a contractor is procured to carry out stage one works – asbestos removal and strip out works, and a second contractor will undertake the replacement of the lift cars.

"Phase two will be managed and delivered by the appointed main contractor.

"As part of the due diligence process to inform the council’s Levelling Up Partnership investment programme, a full building condition report was undertaken by Cassidy and Ashton.

"The report concluded that the building is generally in poor condition with widespread defects and ongoing water ingress.

"Significant capital expenditure is required to improve the overall condition of the Grade II listed hall to ensure it can be maintained to a satisfactory standard, preventing further deterioration of this heritage asset.

"The external fabric of the main building is in poor condition as the roofs require urgent replacement to remedy the ongoing widespread water ingress affecting the building.

"If left unattended, this will result in the replacement of the timber roof structures and further internal restoration works.

"The internal finishes to the main building are generally in poor condition and refurbishment of the internal finish."

The appointed supplier must be a registered and qualified organisation with the necessary qualifications and experience.

"Capital investment should be allocated urgently to prevent the hall from falling into further disrepair.

"If the property is left to deteriorate, further costly refurbishment work will be required.

"Phase One works need to start immediately after King George’s Hall closes on July 8.

"The main contractor will then begin works on site in early August. This provides a limited timeframe to appoint contractors.

"The allocated capital budget is circa £8 million to be funded through the Levelling Up Partnership Programme agreed by the council's executive board."

The refurbishment will include work on the 2,000 seater balconied main auditorium and smaller 750 Windsor Suite for shows and functions.

The building also includes the new Akbar's restaurant in the former Blakey's Café/Bar.