Iconic Blackburn building to get £3.3m makeover

PLANS for a £3.3million regeneration programme for one of Blackburn’s iconic buildings have been revealed.

Great Places Housing Group has announced a major overhaul of Bowland House, on Primrose Bank, to renovate the 14-storey high-rise that has dominated the skyline since the mid-1960s.

The 79-flat tower block has already had £1.3M improvement works over the last six years for new bathrooms, kitchens, rewire, replacement lifts and other works but will now get a complete makeover under new plans.

Among the proposed improvements, which are planned to begin next year and last for 12 months, include:

  • Installation of a ground source heat pump to help reduce energy consumption
  • New energy-efficient windows and doors
  • New fire safety measures including a new sprinkler system
  • New external render and insulation
  • Improved communal areas.

Matthew Harrison, Chief Executive of Great Places Housing Group, said the improvement programme proposals would be put before customers to get their input before work starts.

He said: “We have wanted to invest in Bowland House for some time but the tragedy at Grenfell caused us to pause and consider the ramifications of the Hackitt Report before we could proceed.

“Safety in tower blocks is under the spotlight and our proposed regeneration includes improved fire safety measures internally and externally.

“Bowland House continues to be a popular place to live, with some tenants having lived there for more than 20 years, and we hope that they will like the plans we have drawn up.

“We put the customers, and their safety, at the heart of everything we do and we want the customers to have input on the plans so they are fully aware of what our investment means for them.

“Initial feedback has been extremely positive and we are looking forward to sharing our plans with tenants.

“This investment will build on the massive investment pouring into the town such as that in Cathedral Quarter to make Blackburn a great place to live and work.”

Attendees at the consultation event next week will be able to speak to staff as well as see artist’s impressions of how the external fascia will look once finished.

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