A high-street coffee chain with almost 70 cafes in the UK has submitted plans to become the final piece of the jigsaw of a £32 million restoration project.

The plans, asking for permission to make changes to The Substation at the Grade-II listed Brierfield Mill, which has undergone major works to become Northlight.

The site, where restoration work began in 2016, is home to apartments, offices, businesses and leisure and arts facilities.

Previously there had been plans for a distillery and gin bar to open in the Substation, but when the firm behind it pulled out plans changed to a coffee shop, with consent for refurbishments approved earlier this year.

Now, high-street chain Black Sheep Coffee has submitted plans for an internal fit-out and alterations to the building, plus external alterations and advertising consent.

Plans submitted to Pendle Council state: “The main coffee shop area comprises a wooden fronted servery and metal back counter with shelving above, and incorporate the fridges and equipment to prepare and make the coffees, teas, smoothies etc.

Artwork of how the building could lookArtwork of how the building could look (Image: Pendle Council)

“Freestanding customer tables and chairs will be located around the periphery of the servery area, some separated by raised planters, with banquette seating along the far western wall.

“Customers entering the coffee shop will order their drinks etc using self-order screens positioned close to the entrance door and sit at tables and chairs on the ground or first floor.”

It would also have first-floor seating, with storage and staff facilities also on the first floor, with customer toilets on the ground floor, with some external seating for customers.

Externally, Black Sheep is requesting permission to mount an advertising sign featuring its logo to the south of the building, plus ‘Black Sheep Coffee’ made up of individual illuminated letters, plus a logo sign on the west side of the building.

‘Black Sheep Coffee’ illuminated writing is also planned above the entrance – on the north – and on the eastern wall of the unit.

The plans add: “The internal works now proposed in fitting it out as a coffee shop, a use granted Listed Building Consent earlier this year, retains the general openness of the building.

“The location of the building with views to it constrained by the retained former mill walls and those to the sloped access to the car park immediately in front of it means that its presence from the surrounding streets and its occupation by a coffee shop business is visually severely limited.

“To this end, Black Sheep Coffee has taken the bold appearance of the modern Corton Steel panelling to the building’s southern and eastern elevations as an inspiration to go for a bold approach to advertising its presence and business as a coffee shop with large internally illuminated lettering spelling out its name, with a separate roundel with its name and company logo on it on both elevations.”

Alongside coffee and other drinks, Black Sheep Coffee venues also serve waffles and bagels.

Nearby, it currently has six branches in Manchester, and is planning to open a site in Preston. Two of the sites in Manchester are also licensed premises operating as bars in the evenings.