Blackburn reveals £250m town centre plan

Blackburn with Darwen Council has published a £250m concept masterplan for a town centre development, including transforming the former Thwaites brewery site.

The concept masterplan will contribute to Blackburn’s economic recovery by providing a clear vision and the infrastructure required by people and businesses increasingly wanting to stay local post-pandemic.

The council anticipates the build of 500 town entre homes and the creation of 1,000 jobs linked to the development of a new business district with a focus to support growth in low carbon, green and renewable industries.

The plans also include refurbishing St John’s Church to create flexible workspace, relocating Morrisons to the former Thwaites brewery site, providing low carbon town centre living, implementing 5G town centre roll-out creating a ‘super-connected town centre’ as well as improving public spaces.

Further details will be published in January 2022 as part of the Council’s Local Plan update.

Coun Phil Riley, the council’s executive member for growth and development, said: "This masterplan shows that the council is forward-thinking with its placemaking agenda and I am pleased to confirm we are already speaking to a number of partners about delivering the different schemes outlined in this blueprint, which we are confident we will be able to provide further information in the New Year.

"Although our plans are ambitious we are confident that this is an achievable vision that brings forward development proposals for our strategic town centre sites that will be a game-changer in terms of transforming the centre of Blackburn."

The new framework has been led by BDP Architects and Maple Grove, part of the Eric Wright Group, has been selected as the development partner. 

Andrew Dewhurst, development director for Maple Grove, added: "We are pleased with the progress made since acquiring the site earlier this year and are working with the council in developing a wider masterplan for the town centre building on our successful Cathedral Square development."

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