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We're excited to announce the impressive development of the historic Victoria Building.

Keep up to date with all the stages of the development from the build of the scaffolding, to the behind the scenes story of what's happening underneath the tent hoarding.

History and Heritage

The Victoria Building dates from 1888 and was the result of an architectural competition for a ‘Technical College’ building, paid for through philanthropic donations and public subscription. It was at the time intended to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and represent the industrial achievement of those linked to Blackburn.

This industrial heritage is visible in the decorated panels in the façade and in the stained glass windows illustrating aspects of science, technology, the arts and manufacturing. The building was given Grade II Listed Status in March 1984 and the description describes it as  ‘Northern Renaissance’ style.

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The Development

The development falls within a pilot initiative by the Department for Education that seeks to address Further Education College buildings and estates where the poor condition of the buildings is such that it either prevents or limits their use.

Picture3 1929

The key aims, objectives and outcomes from the project are:

  • Addressing the condition issues within the building fabric and envelope
  • Bringing the Victoria Building back into full use
  • Within the bounds of practicality ensuring that as much of the building as possible is accessible to all types of users
  • Ensuring that on completion of the project the Victoria Building has a defined residual maintenance life

The building work

The town centre location, surrounding road and pedestrian routes, along with the proximity of the adjoining Elizabeth Building mean that the project brings some significant issues and challenges including the following:

Picture2 1892
  • Managing a project of this type safely whilst maintaining the Elizabeth Building in operation.
  • The need for the Victoria Building to be completly ‘shrouded’ and covered to permit work to be carried out throughout the year and weather protected. This prevents further deterioration of the fabric and means that work can continue irrespective of the weather conditions
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  • The scale of the scaffolding around and over the building leads to the closure of Blakey Moor as a through route with traffic diverted via Northgate, and Duke Street reopened to two way traffic. The project also means some localised closure of on street parking and the relocation of a bus stop
  • Jubilee Square and the public realm immediately around the building will be closed to access to permit the project to take place

The journey starts here

Here’s what you need to know so far, we will add to the timeline as the excitement builds:

View the upcoming works

Picture5 2022 Photograph Looking NW To Blakey Moor
  • August 2023 – Road Closure & hoardings in place
    You can download a map of the new town centre route access here.
  • September 2023 – Hoardings erected.
  • October 2023 - Foundations for temporary accommodation prepared.
  • November 2023 – Temporary accommodation commissioned.
  • December 2023 - The official move out of Victoria.
Victorira Building Scaffolding
  • December 2023 - Scaffolding erecting will start in January and take approximately six months, it will be one of the largest schemes in the North West.
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  • January 2024 - Dr Fazal Dad officially handed over the keys of the historic Victoria Building to Mick Donoghue, Construction Manager at BAM Construction. Read more about the story here.
  • February 2024 - BAM are well into stripping out the inside of the iconic Victoria Building. There has been lots that has been uncovered! From the old music rehearsal rooms to the lightwell and art and the former home of Creative Arts Annual Art & Design Exhibitions, situated on the fourth floor. Take a look at the gallery below!
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Fazal Victoria
Our Press Story

The programme of work runs from August 2023 through to a conclusion in Autumn 2026.

Read More