Big plans for Burnley’s former court site

The old County Courts and Offices building in Curzon Street.
The old County Courts and Offices building in Curzon Street.

ONE of Burnley’s most iconic landmarks, the former County Court, could be the latest building transformed to form part of a bustling fashion and student village.

The Burnley Express understands that at least two interested parties – including a Polish group – have expressed interest in developing the historic site in Curzon Street, off Active Way, while retaining the impressive facade of the building that has been empty for more than a decade.

The Polish interest is centred on adapting the Listed building into a massive play and youth centre.

If the plans go ahead it will complement the proposed development of the nearby former GUS complex into student accommodation.

The Express revealed in June that local businessmen want to create a “student village” hub in the GUS building to create a dedicated area for the growing number of Higher Education students coming to the town to study at UcLan, UCFB and the University Technical College.

The second plan centres around a “fashion village” similar to Manchester’s cult fashion emporium Afflecks and London’s iconic Carnaby Street.

Burnley fashion designer Carrie-Ann Kay, who owns the nearby Artisan clothes boutique, said: “I expressed interest in the building recently. I think it would make a brilliant site for a quirky clothes shop for students, similar to Afflecks in Manchester. We could have a real hub of independent business around here to cater for young people.

“There are a lot more students in this end of town now because of the new colleges and university, so it’s definitely exciting for the future.

“We have students coming from around the country – it could become like Carnaby Street on a smaller scale. The county court building has become an eyesore but is really beautiful and could be a real flagship for this part of town.”

Detailed plans for student accommodation at the GUS building have been submitted to Burnley Borough Council and are expected to be discussed by Burnley’s planning committee before Christmas.