Home is where the heart is for builder Ian

A Burnley builder born and bred has said he is excited about the future for his home town as he embarks on another redevelopment of a landmark building.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 4:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 3:58 pm

Ian Walker, who owns the Ian Walker Property Group, is currently redeveloping the listed former home of law firm SFN in Red Lion Street, adding to his growing portfolio of property in Burnley town centre.

Born in Casterton Avenue, the son of a coalminer now boasts more than 100 properties across the North-West, but it’s his Burnley collection that makes him the most proud.

Ian said: “I’m a Burnley man and proud of my town. I can honestly say I’ve never been as excited about the future prospects of the town than I am now.

“We are currently redeveloping the SFN building into luxury apartments and a retial unit. A few years ago, people would have said I was mad to build apartments in Burnley town centre, but there’s a real air of optimism around the town now.

“I think the new direct train link to Manchester has helped, and I think the council’s redevelopment of St James’s Street will also look great when it’s finished.

“It’s not just me redeveloping building in the centre either – there are a number of other local builders at it too. I think it’s great.”

Ian, who lives in Cliviger, recently renovated the former Garden Bar and the Bees Knees bar in Burnley, converting those into apartments and shops.

And he admits that he’s also got his eye on another prominent landmark building in Burnley centre for the future.

The SFN building, which sits around the corner from the Palazzo restaurant, a tasteful conversion of the former Natwest Bank, will soon boast nine two bedroom luxury apartments.

Ian (52) is also looking to the future of his family business, and has just taken on daughter Holly (17) to work as an assistant project manager. Wife Emma and other daughter Maisy also help out.

The former Barden High School pupil added: “I couldn’t do this job without the help of my family. I cam from humble beginnings, but I’m now doing well and I want to give something back to my home town.

“Burnley is on the up. I would say to residents visiting the centre, look up and see the beautiful buildings we have here.”