Infrastructure Works Begin At Burnley Bridge
Infrastructure Works Begin At Burnley Bridge
Burnley Bridge Business Park, the 70-acre employment site immediately adjacent to Junction 9 of the M65, has been launched.
The business park, one of the most exciting developments in the North West, was officially opened by Burnley’s MP Gordon Birtwistle.
It is estimated that 1,400 new and sustainable jobs will be created for the region once the park is full.
The bridge and access road across the Leeds-Liverpool canal, which links the £50 million business park to the motorway, are now under construction and will be completed this year. This will give direct motorway access to the site, which is on the outskirts of Burnley, East Lancashire.
As well as the infrastructure going in, Phase 1 will also consist of a 61,500 sq ft warehouse building is being comprehensively refurbished, providing a superb base for a logistics or industrial occupier, and 29,000 sq ft of speculative new units are being built.
The warehouse is being stripped back to its steel frame and then reclad to satisfy the requirements of the 21st century. The speculative industrial units are being built in two blocks, with sizes ranging from 3,000 sq ft to 19,000 sq ft.
The project has been kick-started by an ERDF grant of £3.85 million to Eshton, the developers of the site.
Mr Birtwistle said: This is the culmination of some excellent private/public partnership work. I have supported Eshton, Lancashire County Council, Burnley Borough Council and the LEP to deliver this development in what we all know are difficult times. Councillor Charlie Briggs pushed the project along when he was leader of Burnley Council and the current leadership have followed through to ensure the scheme progressed.
“This comes at a time when further investment in Burnley will see improved links to Manchester in the form of the Todmorden Curve and a new aerospace hub at the BAE site in Samlesbury. I hope that the businesses which move to the business park are able to benefit from, and link into, the other new projects in the area. This is an exciting time for Burnley and 1,400 new jobs will be a great boost for the town.”
The scheme has also been given a further boost through a £2.4m loan to Eshton from Lancashire’s Growing Places Fund. The fund is used to unlock investment by triggering the delivery of projects that benefit the county’s economy. In this case, the money will be used to fund the cost of the bridge and access road.
Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “We use the Growing Places Fund to make sure that high-quality development schemes with clear benefits can actually happen. Being able to combine the fund’s money with other sources of funding such as the ERDF makes it even more powerful.
“In each case we’re looking to provide the final piece of the jigsaw that ensures the project gets off the ground. Here the investment will help overcome infrastructure issues. We expect the Burnley Bridge scheme to go from strength to strength with a very positive impact on the Lancashire economy over the next few years.”
James Chapman, the managing director of Eshton, commented: “It is tremendous that work has now started on site. The access road goes right into the heart of the park and its construction means that Burnley Bridge Business Park can now start to welcome occupiers to this fantastic site.”
Mr Chapman said that there had already been a good deal of interest in Burnley Bridge from potential occupiers, thanks to its superb location by the M65 and its ability to provide bespoke deals for occupiers.
“Significantly, some larger occupiers have been looking at the site and some have been enquiring about a unit in excess of 500,000 sq ft. There aren’t any other sites in the East Lancashire region where you could build something like that, especially with access straight onto the motorway network” he commented.
Dennis Mendoros, Member of the LEP Board and North West European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Local Management Committee said: “It is great news that the Burnley Bridge Business Park is opening for business. Our priority with ERDF money coming to Lancashire and within the Local Enterprise Partnership is supporting local businesses and creating local jobs. Burnley Bridge, with its state of the art facilities and excellent location, will do both of these things, providing a significant boost to the local economy.”
Burnley Council Leader, Julie Cooper said: “The council is working hard to promote the borough to attract new investment and jobs. Huge investments are underway in new infrastructure, leisure and education.
“Burnley Bridge is the largest of several state-of-the art commercial developments underway in Burnley, which between them offer over 100 acres of prime business development land. Burnley is investment ready and open for business, and we look forward to working closely with Eshton to attract new businesses to their site and new jobs for Burnley and Pennine Lancashire.”
Burnley Council’s Chief Executive, Steve Rumbelow said: “The council has worked closely in partnership with Eshton to help secure the ERDF funding to kick start work on site, and I’m delighted work is now underway.
“The site is a prime Grade ‘A’ development, which will put Burnley firmly on the ‘key regional development sites’ list used by top commercial property agents. Offering the largest commercial development opportunity along the M65 corridor, with superb motorway connections, the site is attracting a great deal of interest.
“Burnley has recently been identified as one of the best towns in the northwest for business growth with over a quarter of companies in the town being identified as ‘high growth champions’. So companies seeking a prime site for expansion or relocation can be assured they will be locating to an area with an excellent business support infrastructure, and an entrepreneurial and international outlook. “
Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Creating jobs and boosting our local economy are key priorities for Lancashire County Council which is why we have worked so hard with our partners to get to this position. Seeing work start here really brings it home that schemes like this aren’t just abstract concepts, they bring real jobs for local people and put real money into the local economy for years to come.”
James Chapman explained: “We are looking forward very much indeed to welcoming new occupiers to our site and working together with them during the coming years. This is a long-term commitment by us to the region, providing sustainable employment in an excellent strategic location.”
The agents for Burnley Bridge are Dove Haigh Phillips of Leeds and Trevor Dawson of Blackburn and Burnley and the contractors are Eric Wright Civil Engineering Ltd of Preston.