Hopes are high that planners will say "I do" to flats plan for former register office

The former register office in Burnley is now earmarked to be converted into apartments.
The former register office in Burnley is now earmarked to be converted into apartments.

One of Burnley’s best known buildings, which will hold a lot of special memories for the thousands of couples who tied the knot there, is set to be converted into flats.

The Grade 11 listed former register office and adjoining offices, which were home to Lancashire County Council’s education offices, will be converted into apartments under plans approved by Burnley Council.

The terrace of architecturally significant buildings, which fronts Grimshaw Street, Thomas Street and Nicholas Street, has lain empty for more than a decade.

The county education service moved out in 2006, with the register office relocating to new premises on Todmorden Road three years later. Local company AJP Surveyors bought the buildings after attempts to market them as commercial premises failed.

Matt Wyatt of JWPC Chartered Town Planners said: “We’re very glad to have helped ensure that these buildings are brought back into positive use by providing much-needed accommodation close to the town centre.

“They reflect the industrial enterprise and great wealth generated by entrepreneurs and patrons in Victorian time and have some beautiful and interesting architectural features.

“Their condition has already deteriorated significantly, so it’s great to think that this project will contribute to the revival of the buildings themselves but also this part of Burnley.”

The terrace was originally built in 1864 by local architect William Waddington, who also designed a number of other nearby listed buildings including Burnley Mechanics, the former Burnley Grammar School and the former Nat West bank across the road.

Number nine, Grimshaw Street and 12 Nicholas Street were originally occupied by the Manchester & County Bank, before eventually becoming part of the Burnley Borough Land and Building Society Ltd.

The buildings at 14 and 16 Nicholas Street were houses, which were demolished and replaced in 1927 to provide an office extension to the building society, which by 1911 had grown to be the sixth largest in the United Kingdom.

The design of both the 1864 and 1927 elements draw upon Florentine Renaissance style architecture including intricately stone carved birds, animals and flowers.

* Did you get hitched at the old register office in Burnley? Perhaps you have a memorable, funny or remarkable story to tell about the day? If you do contact reporter Sue Plunkett on 01292 478158 or email sue.plunkett@jpress.co.uk