The iconic former weavers’ cottages championed by Prince Charles are the base for 200 new jobs.
Fifty staff from employment specialists Spacious Place will initially move into Slater’s Terrace this week, in the latest phase of On The Banks regeneration initiative.
How immensely exciting it is to see this part of the Weavers’ Triangle being brought together by the hard work of so many peoplePrince Charles
And it is hoped that once a 90-seat contact centre is filled, and other tenants are secured by next summer, the 19th century landmark will become the Weavers’ Triangle’s latest success story.
Tim Webber, managing director of Nelson-based Barnfield Construction, also revealed that a new children’s play centre is set to take shape in the former Caldeonia Mill.
Plans for a new Sandygate Nursery are also in the pipeline and Mr Webber said there were advanced proposals to reopen the former Habergham Eaves Parochial School building, in Trafalgar Street.
The announcement comes as a permanent art installation, devised by Jo Fairfax, was unveiled to mark the completion of the Slater’s Terrace refurbishment, backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Canal and Rivers’ Trust.
Dame Julia Cleverdon, the Prince’s ‘Burnley Czar’, delivered a special message from His Royal Highness, who brought The Queen and Prince Phillip to the town in 2012 to share in his vision for the former cotton heartland.
“How immensely exciting it is to see this part of the Weavers’ Triangle being brought together by the hard work of so many people,” said the Prince.
Ian Scholes, chief executive of Spacious Place, said: “It is such an iconic building and just the right kind of incentive for the people we work with. Around 50 people will move in at first and there will be a 90-seat contact centre.
“Once we can find other partners for the rest of the building then we could be looking at around 200 people in there.”
Coun. Mark Townsend, Burnley Council leader, said: “It is great that Ian and Spacious Place have agreed to take on this fantastic building and we look forward to what they can achieve there.”
Pam Smith, the borough council’s chief executive, said: “This is an absolutely momentous time for Burnley. We have looked to the past and it has helped us to forge ahead for the future.”
Gareth Smith, on behalf of the Burnley Bondholders business group, said: “There is a lot of hard work and collaboration which has gone into this development and everyone who has played a part should feel proud of their contribution.”
Mr Webber, also chairman of the Barnfield and Burnley Developments, said: “These mills had been idle for years but they have never felt forgotten or abandoned – they have just been waiting to something to happen.”
Three years ago The Prince of Wales, The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh toured Slater Terrace, originally constructed in 1848 by George Slater, owner of the nearby Clock Tower Mill, ahead of a £1.7million regeneration effort.
The Prince’s Trust also has a Burnley headquarters in the former Sandygate Mill, just a stone’s throw away.
Other phases have included the new university technology college in the old Victoria Mill and a new drive-thru fish and chip restaurant, operated by Banny’s. New shops and the prospect of an apartment hotel have also been discussed.