BURNLEY town centre could become a haven of high street shops, bars, restaurants and cafes.
The Burnley Express brings you this exclusive look of how the major new shopping scheme would dramatically change the face of the town centre.
The ambitious multi-million pound scheme called The Oval is set to transform the former Pioneer site and the Curzon Street part of town into a light, modern shopping centre with an open piazza in the middle. There will more than 20 new shops as well as room for a department store, new hotel and a multi-storey car park.
Burnley Borough Council unveiled the plans, which have been put together by Sheffield-based Henry Boot Developments Ltd, this week.
TOWN CENTRE REVOLUITON
Multi-million plan for department store, 20 shops and hotel
THIS is how Burnley town centre could look in as little as three years.
An ambitious multi-million pound scheme is all set to transform the former Pioneer site and the Curzon Street part of town into a haven of high street shops, bars, restaurants and cafes.
Burnley Borough Council revealed the innovative scheme by Sheffield-based Henry Boot Developments Ltd at a Press conference on Tuesday.
It aims to revolutionise the town centre expanding retail space by half as much again and bringing a department store, such as Debenhams, and approximately 20 big name high street shops to the town.
A new hotel, a multi-storey car park and a cosmopolitan oval open space are also included in the radical proposals, drawn up by Henry Boots architects, the Hurd Rolland Partnership.
Mr Simon Dew, senior development surveyor at Henry Boot Developments, said that Debenhams has not yet signed up, but stressed that Burnley needed a department store.
Other shops that could be attracted are Gap, H&M, Zara, Waterstones, Next and other clothing and shoe shops.
The development could create up to 400 jobs and boost the boroughs economy.
Work will continue on the plans until the New Year when they will be submitted to the council for planning permission. If there are no problems, construction, which will take approximately two years, could start next summer.
To realise the dream proposals, the towns old court buildings in Curzon Street will have to be demolished as well as surrounding properties. The council has already begun correspondence with the businesses that could be affected by the development.
Council leader Coun. Stuart Caddy said: I am delighted that, after months of work by the council, we have succeeded in bringing this major development opportunity forward. This is the most exciting development in Burnley town centre in recent years. It will completely transform Burnley and place us on the map as a major shopping centre, attracting new businesses and drastically improving the range and quality of shops.
This will be of great benefit to the residents of Burnley, who will no longer have to travel to other towns and cities to access high quality shopping. The leisure provision in the scheme will also help to add vibrancy to this area of the town.
With the advent of out-of-town shopping centres, such as the Trafford Centre, and the regeneration of Manchester and Preston city centres, Burnley has suffered a drop in the numbers of shoppers.
The Pioneer store closed in January, 2001, and the council was able to acquire the site and demolish the building last year, thanks to a 1.8m. investment by the North West Development Agency. Since then, it has been used as a public car park.
Six months ago, developers were asked to put together ideas for the site and, from the 13 proposals, a shortlist of five was drawn up.
A decision was made by council bosses earlier this month.
Henry Boot Developments will work in partnership with the council, its architects, the NWDA and retail consultants GVA Grimley.