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Blackburn: King Street landlord pledges to invest in new tenant

THE LANDLORD of a former bank is hoping to help revive the high street by seeking a new business tenant to invest in.

The building, on 51 King Street, Blackburn, is found between Marks & Spencer and Easy Coffee and used to house a branch of Santander, with owner Harry Hajipapas saying that it could be the ideal location for an ambitious enterprise.

Mr Hajipapas says he hopes to be “more than just a landlord” and wants to invest to help support his new tenants, whoever they may be.

He said: “I don’t want to be a distant landlord with no involvement in my properties or the businesses in them.

“I’m optimistic about the future of Blackburn town centre and I want to support and nurture the next generation of high street businesses.”

The former Santander and one-time Bradford & Bingley branch, is split over three floors and includes basement storage, with Mr Hajipapas saying that he is prepared to offer a supportive rent and rates package to support the business that moves into the property.

The property has also recently been refurbished.

Blackburn Business Improvement District, which supports businesses in the town centre, is in favour of the initiative, particularly given that the town’s economy has been one of the worst hit in the country by the pandemic, with economists warning of the potential “death of the high street.”

As such the organisation hopes that plans like these could help spearhead a revival of the town centre.

Blackburn BID manager Catherine Price said “I think this is a really positive and proactive step by Harry, not just to get his property occupied, but to encourage and invest in a business which adds value to the town centre and is sustainable.

“I would love for all town centre landlords to be this invested in their properties and Blackburn town centre.”

Anyone interested in renting the space can send their proposals and details of their business to harry@cyplon.co.uk.