£21m Pioneer Place scheme granted planning consent

A plan to build a multi-screen cinema and revitalise the leisure and retail offering in Burnley town centre has been granted planning consent.

The £21m Pioneer Place project has been under development since since Burnley Council appointed Maple Grove Developments, part of the Eric Wright Group, in 2018.

The council has now has given the go ahead for a new seven-screen cinema and 12,750 sq ft of leisure and retail floorspace across five units, centred around a new public realm and a refurbished Curzon Street car park.

Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: "The importance of a vibrant town centre can’t be underestimated as we emerge from the Covid pandemic. With planning now secured we are looking to appoint Eric Wright Construction over the next couple of months and start on site this summer and Pioneer Place opening in spring 2023.

"We have interest in the restaurant units from regional and national operators and from independents, which are attracted to having a presence in this growing University town."

The scheme is being designed by AEW Architects with Smith Love acting as planning consultant and is being supported with grant funding from Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

This public/private partnership with Burnley Council is expected to deliver 120 new jobs, 180 construction jobs and £1.35m GVA to the local economy.

Kate Ingram, the council’s strategic head of economy and growth, said: "This is a significant milestone in bringing forward this key project in our Town Centre Masterplan.

"All the project partners have worked hard over the last year to bring forward a scheme that reflects the current market but delivers a well-designed town centre cinema and leisure development, with scope for future expansion. Maple Grove are working towards a start on site this summer."

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