Major plans for wearied Colne precinct

REG (From left) Tim Mulholland, Coun. Dorothy Lord, Stephen Barnes, Coun. Joe Cooney and Tim Webber (S)

REG (From left) Tim Mulholland, Coun. Dorothy Lord, Stephen Barnes, Coun. Joe Cooney and Tim Webber (S)

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This week it can officially be announced that Colne’s wearied 1970s shopping parade is set to undergo a major and exciting regeneration.

The Market Street precinct has been purchased by Pearl2, the public-private partnership between Barnfield Investment Properties and Pendle Council, after its previous owners were unable to manage it financially.

It is hoped that by adding the site to their property portfolio, Pearl2 will be able to give the 11 existing businesses a boost and encourage others to take up the remaining three empty units. Active interest in the vacancies is already being pursued by the development team at Barnfield.

For Coun. Tony Greaves the project is“a silver lining on the dark clouds of the property crash” after 40 years of suffering from “absentee landlords with little interest in Colne”.

Head of property at Barnfield Construction Tim Mulholland, who worked on the purchase of Colne precinct for PEARL, said: “Architects are currently working on a new façade scheme which will help modernise and improve the shopping experience in Colne.

“We have continually invested into Pendle both through our joint venture with Pendle Council and through our own speculative developments over the last three decades.

“Colne is very close to our heart and we are looking forward to making it a better place to shop which in turn will hopefully encourage an increase in the local economy with new shoppers venturing into the town.”

And Coun. Greaves added: “This is a really good move. The first job is to get tenants into the empty units, and hopefully to spruce up the outside of the buildings themselves.

“It has been possible because the owners went bust.”

It is hoped that Barnfield Construction will begin the revival of the precinct by the end of the year.

Other successful regeneration projects carried out by PEARL include Shackleton Hall, The Ace Centre, in Nelson, Quaker Heights, in Brierfield, Stanley Street, in Nelson, and Number One Market Street in Nelson.

Work and ideas are also ongoing at Brierfield Mill.

Leader of Pendle Council and Director of PEARL Coun. Joe Cooney, who oversees regeneration in the borough, said: “We’re thrilled to have taken on this shopping parade at the top end of Colne town centre.

“We’re going to modernise it by giving it an attractive new frontage to encourage even more shoppers to the area.”

What are your thoughts on PEARL’S regeneration of Colne’s shopping precinct? Make your comments by visiting www.pendletoday.co.uk