After months of renovation, all of the new shop units on the front of Darwen Town Hall are now officially open.
The project, which has seen five traditional shop fronts reinstated to the historic town and market hall, will be officially opened on Friday, July 29 at 1pm.
Darwen’s Town Crier and the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Karimeh Foster will help mark the occasion.
The new businesses include Bump to Baby, selling all types of gifts for mums to be, babies and new mums, Topz ‘n’ Trainers, selling fashion clothing and personalised t-shirts and hoodies and a traditional men’s barber shop, Guise Barbers.
Former Darwen Market traders have filled the other two shop units.
Local favourite, Deli Carlo, has been supplying a wide range of Italian and Continental food in the market since 1985.
The Sweet Shop, which had been trading in Darwen Market since 2009, has now expanded in its new location and offers a great selection of sweets, chocolates, ice creams and much more.
The Heritage Lottery Fund provided £84,763 towards the cost of the renovation work which totalled at £207,553.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) provided a grant of £81,832, 50 per cent of which was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the remaining balance was met by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.
The new shops have been restored to their original design as part of the wider Darwen Townscape Heritage Initiative, which has seen some of the town’s most important buildings refurbished and brought back to life.
Councillor Dave Harling, executive member for regeneration, said: “I’m thrilled that all the shops are now open, the market square really does look fantastic.
“A few of the units have been trading for a while now and I’m pleased to say that they’ve all been doing well. The shops are helping to boost the shopping experience in Darwen and have been an excellent compliment to the existing shops.”