Former Preston social club badly damaged in late night blaze.

The derelict New Friargate Social Club in Maudland Bank.
The derelict New Friargate Social Club in Maudland Bank.

A former Preston social club was badly damaged in a late night fire.

More than 20 firefighters fought the blaze at the New Friargate Club in Maudland Bank just before midnight.

Four fire appliances from Preston, Penwortham and Bamber Bridge, an aerial ladder platform from Accrington and the brigade's Air Support Unit drone were all involved in dealing with the incident near to the University of Central Lancashire.

The building, which has been empty for a number of years, is due for demolition to make way for a new student accommodation block.

The alarm was raised at around 11.40pm.

A fire brigade spokesperson said: "The call initially came in as a persons reported incident. When crews arrived they found a single storey building well alight.

"By 12.30am firefighters wearing breathing apparatus had established there was no-one in the building. In all we were at the scene for just over two hours."

The cause of the blaze has yet to be established.

Plans for the site were passed in September. The former club is to be demolished and a four-storey block of 142 student apartments is to be built in its place.

An earlier application for a seven storey building was rejected by Preston Council because it would have an "unacceptable, overbearing impact" on the neighbourhood.