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Former Darwen school in apartments bid
PLANS to turn a derelict former school building into apartments are on track, according to the developer.
The former Darwen Secondary Technical School in Union Street is undergoing a major redevelopment to convert it into 49 apartments.
London-based property firm Novarise Properties Ltd contracted Nelson firm Barnfield Construction to carry out the work, valued at about £1.4million.
The redevelopment of the site was particularly welcomed as it came after a number of failed attempts to bring the building, closed since 1995, back into use.
Barnfield marketing manager Charlotte Rice said: “We are on target and still looking at being finished by December.”
Town council mayor Eileen Entwistle said she was delighted the work was nearing completion.
She said: “It is really good news. I think things are coming together in that area now with the retirement village at Shorey Bank and Willow Gardens at the old health centre site.
“When you get a company like that doing the work you know they are going to crack on with it.
“It will make Union Street look really nice again.
“It is good because work has started and stopped on that site a few times over the years.”
The Victorian gothic building designed by Mr J Lane Fox opened in 1894 and the library, which was also based in the school building for a number of years, moved there in 1895.
Among the early pupils was James Hargreaves Morton, the artist killed in the First World War.
It was the Grammar School until 1939 and, in 1945, it reopened as the Secondary Technical School, obtaining college status in the 1950s.
It became Darwen Moorland Lower School in July 1972 before it closed in 1995.
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