Exciting plans to bring new life to Brierfield Mills and make it a major attraction, have been revealed.
The new development to be known as “Northlight”, will bring “city centre living” to the town with hotels, flats, restaurant, pubs, and a 50-dock marina next to the canal.
The masterplan also includes proposals for a gallery, business centre, managed work space, performance space, gardens and an outdoor activity centre with climbing zone.
The mill was first built in 1830 and expanded over the years, to include impressive buildings built around the start of the last century. Smith and Nephew operated there from the fifties to the 2000s.
The mill is now owned by Pearl (Brierfield Mills) Ltd, a joint operation between Pendle Council and Nelson’s Barnfield Investment Properties.
On Saturday, an open day in the mill buildings featured pictures charting the history of the mill – and scenes of its potential future.
Those behind the scheme say it will attract people from all over the country because it is easily accessible from the M65, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Brierfield railway station.
The name Northlight was chosen because it links to the simple but stylish architectural heritage feature of northlights – a key feature of northern weaving mills and a prominent feature at Brierfield Mills.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I’m delighted to see the masterplan – now officially revealed.
“I think it sets out some very exciting ideas for the future of Brierfield Mills, which residents will be very excited about.”
Pendle Council leader Coun. Joe Cooney is a director of Pearl (Brierfield Mills) Ltd and he pointed out that Pearl had already re-established key buildings in the borough like Shackleton Hall, Colne, Nelson’s old library in Booth Street, and Lob Lane Mill in Brierfield which is now housing.
And he said: “For Pearl, it will be our biggest challenge ever, but our biggest success.”
Deputy leader Coun. John David, also a director, added: “When I first saw it, it was such a vast programme I wondered what would happen round it.
“But the architects showed great images in design in their plan. It doesn’t all have to happen at once – it can happen in stages.”
Brierfield Town Council’s Financial and Planning Committee chairman, Coun. Mohammad Altaf, said: “We want to involve the community here in Brierfield. We need to once again make Brierfield the centre of the universe.
“Being by the M65, we’ve got the potential of people coming from Manchester, Bolton, Preston and Yorkshire and many other places. If you say Smith and Nephew, people think of Brierfield. We are preserving our heritage here.”
Architect Mr Chris Roberts, from David Morley Architects, said: “I would say it is a stunning opportunity to bring Brierfield Mill back into use and to restore it.”
County Coun. Azhar Ali, who covers Brierfield, said: “The regeneration of the bottom end of Brierfield started 12 years ago with the proposal to demolish houses off Clitheroe Road and Holden Road and the demolition of Lob Lane Mill, which has now been reformed as exciting living quarters.
“The masterplan of Brierfield Mills brings city centre living into Brierfield.
Mr Tim Webber, managing director of Barnfield who is a leading member of the Pearl board, said: “David Morley Architects’ masterplan has been designed in a way which is sensitive to the mill’s history.
“But it also includes striking contemporary features which will make this a thriving new destination for the whole region.”
• What do you think of the exciting plans to transform Briefield Mills? Leave your comments on our website www.burnleyexpress.net.