Landmark building in Burnley town centre on market for £1.4M

Property developer Ian Walker with his daughter Holly outside the former Burnley Express offices which is now a retail and apartment complex on the market for 1.4M.
Property developer Ian Walker with his daughter Holly outside the former Burnley Express offices which is now a retail and apartment complex on the market for 1.4M.

One of Burnley town centre's landmark buildings has gone on the market for £1.4M.

The former Burnley Express office in Bull Street is owned by property developer Ian Walker who bought the building in 2017, a year after the newspaper moved out of the building.

A snapshot of the old Burnley Express office possibly taken in the 1950s showing the building decked out for the Queen's Coronation.

A snapshot of the old Burnley Express office possibly taken in the 1950s showing the building decked out for the Queen's Coronation.

The Express had been based there for around 80 years and the move to a new home marked the end of an era.

After he bought the building Ian spent a year on a £750,000 refurbishment project to transform the rundown building into Express House, a development of 14 high end two and three bedroomed apartments on the first, second and third floors and a luxurious roof top apartment.

There are four retail units on the ground floor and there is a car parking area, which has recently been refurbished and fitted with electric security gates.

Speaking about his decision to sell the building Ian said: "I have made the decision to sell the property at this point as I have other developments in the town centre I would like to focus on and invest in."

The project was something of a labour of love for Ian as he was often interviewed in the newsroom at the old Express offices during the 1980s when he worked as a DJ and promoter.

He even created his own separate company, OBE which stands for Old Burnley Express, to deal with the redevelopment project.

The owner of the Ian Walker Property Group, the businessman has a portfolio of 140 properties across the North West.

He owns a number in Burnley town centre including the listed former home of the law firm SFN in Red Lion Street and the former Garden Bar and the Bees Knees bar which he converted into apartments and shops.

Although he has properties across the North West Ian has always said that his heart belongs in his hometown which has earned him the nickname of 'Mr Burnley.'

He said: "I didn't have any problems letting out the apartments because there are a lot of people who want to live in the town centre.

"There is a lot happening in the town that is very positive, it is certainly on the up."

The Burnley Express moved out of its Bull Street home in August, 2016 and is now based at the Empire Business Park in Liverpool Road with sister papers the Nelson Leader/Colne Times and the Clitheroe Advertiser.

The move marked the end of an era for the building which had been home to the company since 1933.

The paper was originally founded as the Burnley Express and East Lancashire Observer by printer George Frankland who was from Preston.

When the Burnley Express was taken over by the Preston based Burnley News in 1933 the business moved out of St Jame's Row across into Bull Street where it was to remain until 2016.

Express House is on the market with Manchester based property agents Nolan Redshaw.