St John The Evangelist, Blackburn, P.Google Earth
The council has owned the church since 1975. Credit: Google Earth

Blackburn hunts architect to revamp fire-damaged church 

Dan Whelan

St John the Evangelist on Victoria Street in Blackburn was gutted by a fire in 2019 and the council is now seeking an architect to design the building’s transformation. 

Blackburn with Darwen Council hopes the £3.5m refurbishment of the 230-year old church can “establish a sustainable, new role for the building”. 

Architects are being asked to express their interest in the project before midday on 10 September. 

The council is to appoint a preferred contractor by 11 October and the contract will run for three years.  

The building has been owned and operated by the council since it was deconsecrated in 1975.

Latterly it was used as an arts centre featuring a theatre, workshops and a café. 

The Bureau Centre for the Arts’ services were relocated to the Thwaites Visitor Centre on Penny Street after the fire. 

Elsewhere in Blackburn, architect Purcell led on the design of another church project, the creation of an £8m clergy residence at the town’s cathedral. 

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