One of the town centre’s most historic buildings is set to be restored back to its former glory.
The Old Town House on Cannon Street has been boarded up since 2009 and fallen into a bad state of disrepair affected by mould and dry rot. Outbuildings have also suffered from general neglect with water ingress, serious cracking and recent fire damage.
The Grade II listed building, constructed in the 1860s, has previously been used as local authority offices, a solicitors firm, vets practice and a dwelling house.
Raff Ali, owner of Accrington-based insurance firm Ensure Cover Ltd, has now bought the rundown building as the new office for his growing company.
Mr Ali, 31, said they have outgrown their current premises on Cross Street and need a larger premises to accommodate their growing staff.
They have already begun redecorating the main building, however the extension block will be demolished to create a new toilet and staff room area.
Mr Ali said: “We are already working on the building now and have been painting, plastering and redecorating.
“It was closed about four years ago. When we bought it it had damp, dry rot and mushrooms growing. We will be keeping all the historic features. The demolition of the extension will take about a month and we hope to have it all ready by October or November.”
Ensure Cover Ltd was founded seven years ago and has grown from a handful of staff to more than 20.
Mr Ali said the new premises would help boost the area and allow more staff to be hired.
He said: “The current location we have got is like a call centre office and there isn’t much room to get more staff.
“We have got things planned to grow the company and will always be looking to add more staff and take more people on.
“The demolition of the outbuilding is really needed as our staff need something nicer to relax and eat in.
“Cannon Street is in a nice area towards the Tesco and railway station and it’s a bit of a hub for business which will help us get more people.
“The building has a great history and that attracts people. It gives you a nice feeling when you have offices like that with character.”