WORK is set to begin on the town’s ambitious £50m. landmark business development.
The 70-acre Burnley Bridge Business Park could now start to take shape this spring after European funding was finally put in place.
Developers Eshton are keen to get started building on site and construction of the new road bridge across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will now take precedence.
Mr James Chapman, managing director of Eshton, hailed the news as “tremendous” just days after securing the European Regional Development Fund grant of £3.85m.
“This is absolutely tremendous news for the Burnley region,” he said. “These are challenging economic times for the commercial property market, and it gives Eshton great pleasure to be able to develop this crucial strategic site and to create a significant number of jobs in the East Lancashire area.
“The ERDF grant gives us the green light. We can now start work in earnest at Burnley Bridge and attract quality occupiers to a quality site. We are determined to make this business park the very finest in the region, building on its fantastic location and providing good jobs for an excellent Lancashire labour force.
“The final phase of demolition and site clearance has now been completed, getting everything ready for development. The construction of the bridge over the canal will now kick-start the whole project.”
The development, which is located at junction 9 of the M65, is expected to create up to 1,400 new and sustainable jobs.
Burnley Council leader Coun. Charlie Briggs said: “This is fantastic news and it shows what can be achieved even in these difficult economic times when the private and public sector work together with a common goal.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Mr Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Burnley Council, who said: “Burnley Bridge is well located and will provide state-of-the-art facilities in which ambitious companies can thrive. Eshton have had to be tenacious in the current market to bring this site forward and it has been a pleasure to help make it happen. James Chapman and the Eshton team have done a great job.”
Interest is already high in the site with Mr Chapman revealing they were currently in advanced talks with a number of logistics and manufacturing companies in the area.
“Contrary to what people might expect, many companies are doing well in the area despite the economic challenges,” he said. “Some of the local manufacturers are consolidating space and smaller firms need to move to new premises.”