A landmark Padiham building could form the centrepiece of a new £1m. bid for heritage funding after it was bought by a leading Burnley firm.
The former Prestige Beds centre was snapped up by Frost and Co. Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors before it went to auction last month.
Now the building, which was home to the old Co-operative department store, is undergoing a £100,000 renovation which will include the new Frost and Co. Padiham branch, shops and up to 10 town centre studio apartments.
But the historic Victorian building, which includes the old Padiham National School, is still in need of work to restore it to its former glory.
Developers hope it could form part of a new bid for Heritage Lottery Fund cash after an initial £1m. was knocked back last year.
Robert Frost, who is a director of the firm and a chartered surveyor, said: “We are proud to invest in the regeneration and continued development of Padiham.
“This is a great opportunity to help revitalise the town centre. It has been very successful in the past three years since we started and we are now recognised as one of the leading estate agents in Burnley and we would like to extend this to Padiham and the surrounding area.
“We will be creating several new jobs and investing more than £100,000 into redeveloping the building.
“We hope to work closely with the local authority to submit a bid for a National Heritage Lottery Fund grant to renovate the remainder of the building including the old school house at the rear.”
Work is already being carried out to fit a new roof and sandblast the three-storey frontage down to the original stone and the estate agents could be open within weeks.
Tony Fitzgerald, Padiham town centre manager, welcomed the news, saying: “It is a landmark building, it is on a key corner and it is an integral part of the history of Padiham.
“It is great to have that on-street presence from a well-known estate agent. It will put Padiham on the map a bit more.
“It is a really important, locally-listed building and it is a target property to get some funding in.”
Mr Fitzgerald and the town team are drawing up a new detailed bid for lottery funding to help regenerate building in the town centre which could include the new Frost and Co. headquarters.
Prestige Beds, which operated the family-run firm in the building for 40 years, is set to move to a new modern location within the borough but their new home is yet to be announced.