Plans to create thousands of jobs on major Lancashire development site

Monday, April 15, 2019

Lancashire County Council has announced new plans for a major North West strategic development site next to the M6 and M65 in South Ribble.



The proposals for the 65 hectare Lancashire Central site at Cuerden, follow extensive analysis of future business needs and discussions with the private sector.

The plans would lead to more than £250m of public and private sector investment, around £200m in annual Gross Value Added (GVA) and would create more than 3,000 jobs.

The scheme would create 600,000 sq ft for logistics or other non-retail use, 260,000 sq ft of mixed commercial use such as food retail, a hotel and car sales, 130,000 sq ft for business and industrial hybrid units, and up to 210 homes.

Around 840,000 sq ft has been designated for general employment, such as logistics, warehousing and light industrial units.

The plans also include improvements to five key road junctions, adding capacity to the road network around this site.

The latest proposals for the site were discussed at Lancashire County Council's Cabinet meeting on Thursday 11 April.

All plans are subject to planning approval and could change based on market demand. The county council's ambition is that the first occupiers could be on site by 2021.

The estimated timescale for the whole site has also reduced from 10 to 12 years, to six to eight years, due to strong market interest, as well as the new approach to the development of the site.

Since the withdrawal of IKEA last May from the initial plans for the site, the county council has been carrying out a review, including working with specialist property advisors and the private sector, to re-imagine the whole scheme and understand the best ways to bring it forward.

Lancashire Central is a key site for bringing jobs and growth to the area and will generate major economic benefits. The new proposals feature fewer jobs overall, but those created would be higher quality than under the previous plan for the site.

Stephen Young, executive director for growth, environment, transport and community services, said: "The scheme previously included IKEA, but when the company pulled out last year it gave us this opportunity to update our proposals for the site based on changing market opportunities.

"We're also now looking to deliver the development in a shorter timeframe, due to strong market interest.

"While people have only seen some initial preparatory work on site, we've been working at an incredible pace to re-imagine the scheme, plan this ambitious project and prepare it for investment in less than 12 months.

"We've been in discussions with potential partners and businesses who are looking to invest and grow here, so that we can build momentum once work starts on site.

"Now that the Cabinet has given the go-ahead, we'll be working to agree a development partner, who can bring their expertise to this exciting major scheme.

"We are also now in a position to start planning for the major highway work that will be needed to bring access to this site from the M65, as well as other key highway improvements that will add capacity to the network."

The previous plans for this development have already received planning permission, but some of the new proposals need planning approval before work can start.

Find out more about the plans at www.thisiscuerden.co.uk

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