Arson-hit ‘eyesore’ in Darwen goes up for auction
HOPES a town centre eyesore left derelict after a huge fire could soon be renovated have been boosted after it has been put up for auction.
The former Franky’s Bar, in Church Street, Darwen, has been listed for the sale on Thursday, June 12 at Manchester City Football Club with a guide price of £60,000 to £80,000.
The building was gutted by fire, which was believed to be deliberately started, in November 2012.
Prior to being Franky’s Bar it had been the Darwen Central Conservative Club and before that a bingo hall.
Sunnyhurst councillor Dave Smith said: “I really hope that whoever buys it has a scheme in mind to get it sorted soon.
“It is a blight on the town centre.
“There have been bits falling off it in recent weeks.
“It is a complete eyesore and around the town centre people have been asking what is happening with it.
“Hopefully it will be resolved soon.”
Franky’s Bar, which had been a regular venue for performers at the popular annual Darwen Live music festival, had closed the previous April.
Six fire engines and 35 firefighters attended the blaze, just after 1.30am on November 22, 2012.
Firefighters battled the huge flames for two hours and the road was closed while work to make the building safe was carried out.
Darwen’s MP Jake Berry said he was pleased the building could be sold in the near future.
He said: “It is one of the last remaining pieces of the jigsaw to the renaissance of Darwen town centre we have seen over the past few years.
“This is a dangerous structure and I will be seeking urgent meeting with the new owners following the auction to find out their plans for either immediately demolishing or restoring the building.”
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