Two of the biggest retail outlets in the area have come together under one roof.
Pendle Village Mill, based at junction 12 of the M65 at Brierfield in the old Smith and Nephew factory, and Barden Mill, formerly based in Barden Lane on the Pendle-Burnley boundary, have combined operations at the Brierfield site next to B and Q.
The shop at Barden Mill closed on Tuesday.
The 100,000 square foot facility is spread across three floors and will employ upwards of 50 people, including staff relocated from Barden Mill – and Pendle Village Mill’s Susan Lockwood said that more staff would be taken on as expansion of the merged business continued.
And it is not only staff that is expanding – refurbishment of the old textile mill, which was built in 1885, has been ongoing for the last 13 years and has yet to be completed.
“Pendle Village Mill is four times the size of Barden Mill and the potential for the business is enormous,” said Jason Fildes of Barden Mill.
Pendle Village Mill is primarily a carpets and furnishings business, although it has its own clothing department as well, whereas Barden Mill is predominatly clothing orientated. The mill also houses a tearoom with a capacity of 130 people.
Jason described the relocation of Barden Mill as “exciting”.
“Barden Mill was caught between two junctions and people new to the area perhaps did not know where to find us.
“We would love to see old and new customers at the new site. It is not a case of us being swallowed up,” he said.
And Susan said initial signs to the link up had been encouraging.
“We have already received some favourable comments from customers,” she said.
lOne thing that remains unchanged at Barden Mill is the 78-berth marina.
Mr Fildes said the facuilty would remain open, and plans to expand it remain in the pipeline.
And the merger between the businesses has opened up another opportunity – cruises along the canal between the two mills, something which Jason said was being considered.