Cuerden masterplan could create 2,500 jobs

Up to 2,500 jobs could be created in Lancashire under a new masterplan for a potential major development at the end of the M65.

CuerdenAerialA masterplan for the Cuerden Strategic Site, which has been drawn up by Lancashire County Council, will be considered at a special meeting of South Ribble Borough Council’s Planning Committee, when councillors will decide whether to approve the document for consultation.

It sets out a vision to create high-quality employment on the 65-hectare site, through a mix of commercial, industrial and leisure use. The land is in close proximity to the M65, M6 and M61, as well other major roads and the West Coast Mainline.

The Cuerden Strategic Site is identified under the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal – an investment of more than £430m, which will deliver substantial transport, infrastructure and community improvements, bringing forward three decades of growth over the next ten years.

Agreed between Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council and central government, the City Deal will bring economic growth to the area over the next decade. This includes creating thousands of new jobs, building new homes and making improvements across the City Deal area. Any development at Cuerden would also be supported by road improvements, including the widening of the A582 into a dual carriageway.

South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for Strategic Planning and Housing, Councillor Cliff Hughes, said: “We are committed to supporting the growth of our borough by meeting the development needs of businesses. We want to make the right land available at the right time to support investment and innovation, which will provide opportunities for our highly-skilled workforce. We also must manage this growth in a co-ordinated way, so this masterplan has been developed to ensure a comprehensive approach is adopted for the site, which itself is part of a much bigger jigsaw.

“The potential of the land at Cuerden has been recognised for many years. It could bring huge benefits to communities, not only in South Ribble, but across Central Lancashire and the wider region. Development will also drive improvements in our town and village centres and the provision of new amenities.

“If my colleagues on the planning committee decide that the masterplan would deliver the best outcome for our communities, people would be invited to have their say on the proposals as part of a six-week public consultation.” The meeting will take place on Thursday 6 November at the Civic Centre, in West Paddock, Leyland, starting at 6pm.