A fire in the centre of Accrington - just 300 metres away from the Town Hall, where the Queen arrived earlier is now almost completely out.

Flames were seen pouring out of the historic former Accrington Conservative Club at 2pm.

The derelict building, which was also formerly Churchill's nightclub, is in Cannon Street.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were set to arrive at 2.50pm to the Market Hall before going to Accrington Town Hall.

Several fire crews, including the aerial ladder platform, were tackling the blaze at the rear of the building. Paradise Street has been closed.

The blaze is suspected to have started after a break-in through a side door at the site. Windows to the rear of the building were smashed by firefighters to allow smoke and heat to clear.

The fire had mainly taken hold in the first and second floors, including the famous old ballroom.

A spokesman said: "Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is dealing with a fire at the former Conservative Club in Accrington. The first floor and staircase are well alight and we have eight fire engines and one aerial ladder platform in attendance. The incident will not affect the Queen's journey and no-one is in any danger."

Crews broke in to the rear of the building to fight the blaze from inside. A hazardous materials unit arrived to deal with run-off water.

Staff from the neighbouring Howarth and Nuttall solicitors office were evacuated, while parents had to go through the cordon to collect youngsters from First Class Childcare.

At 4.15pm firefighters using thermal imaging cameras were searching for the last pockets of fire. The building was described as in a 'dangerous condition'.

Plans were discussed in 2010 to demolish the building, including its famous ballroom, after it fell into disrepair.