Burnley Council has been informed that the planned Curzon Street retail development will not be going ahead.
Negotiations between developers Henry Boot and a range of retailers have not led to enough companies committing to rent units in the extension proposed to the existing shopping centre.
This is partly because there are already opportunities for retailers to take up units and expand in the town centre. In light of this, Henry Boot has taken the decision not to proceed.
Burnley Council chief executive Steve Rumbelow said: “This is very disappointing but it’s a result of circumstances outside our control. It reflects what is happening in the economy across the whole country.
“Retailers have made a commercial decision. At the same time, we should be clear a range of companies are still showing their commitment to expand their business in Burnley. This reflects their continued faith in this town as a vibrant shopping centre.
“We’ve been working with Henry Boot for some years on these plans. We’ve both done all we can to make the scheme work, but it has not been possible to finalise it. We would like to thank Henry Boot for all the work they have done and the investment they have made in time and money in trying to bring this about.
Coun. Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, also regretted the announcement, which he said was a “sign of the times”.
“Britain’s retailers and High Streets are facing the toughest times in living memory, and unfortunately Burnley isn’t immune to the effects of the economic downturn.
“Whatever happens in terms of particular developments, Burnley Council will keep on working hard to create opportunities. We will do all we can to ensure Burnley comes through these tough times and emerges in as strong a position as possible.”
At the same time, the council confirmed it was working with Addington Capital, the new owner of Charter Walk shopping centre, to improve the retail offer in Burnley.
Mr Rumbelow added: “Addington Capital, asset manager, has ambitious plans for Charter Walk with the first phase of works to go on site in the summer. We are working with them to strengthen the retail offer still further.”
Matthew Allen, from Addington, said: “We have the opportunity to build on the success of Charter Walk shopping centre. We will be working with the council to develop it further in the coming months.”