Cash-strapped Blackburn with Darwen Council has bought a bus depot site, it has emerged.

A deal was struck with Transdev, which runs Lancashire United buses, for the site in Manner Sutton Street in the Eanam area.

The council, which is facing £33million cuts and selling off bins and bollards to raise cash, has bought the land for an undisclosed sum, and is now leasing it back to Transdev.

Officials said the land was for ‘regeneration of the town centre’, but would not elaborate on plans.

Transdev Lancashire United marketing chief Nigel Eggleton said the sale had been part of measures to stave off redundancies.

He said the firm has two Blackburn bases: the former Blackburn Transport depot in Intack, and the former Ribble Motor Services depot in Manner Sutton Street.

He added: “Over the last few months we have been modernising the facilities at Intack and in May a number of facilities transferred there from Manner Sutton Street.

“Later this month, when the work at Intack is completed, we will close the depot in Manner Sutton Street and transfer the remaining staff to Intack.

"We have been working hard to achieve the changes without any compulsory redundancies and, hopefully, we have now achieved that aim.

“The premises at Manner Sutton Street have been sold to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.”

Councillor Andy Kay, executive member for resources at the council, said: “The council purchased the land in March 2011 and it is currently being leased back to Transdev until their new Intack Station is completed.

"The former depot will then be considered as part of the ongoing regeneration of the town centre.”