Drive to boost business links on right road

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The first major highway scheme of improvements to boost access to employment areas and future housing sites along the M65 corridor between Blackburn and Colne has been completed.

The £12.1m. programme of work to junctions and nearby local roads from Junction 7 at Accrington to Junction 13 at Barrowford is known as the Hyndburn-Burnley-Pendle Growth Corridor.

The programme is part of the £250m. Growth Deal secured from government by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

Lancashire County Council has now completed the first road scheme to reduce congestion and improve access to employment areas near Junction 12 at Brierfield.

The £900,000 scheme supports the expansion of the Lomeshaye site, as well as Riverside Business Park and the £32m. transformation of Brierfield Mill into Northlight.

Graham Cowley, chairman of the LEP’s Growth Deal Management Board, said: “As part of our strategic vision for the Hyndburn-Burnley-Pendle Growth Corridor, the LEP is investing in improving connectivity along the M65 and surrounding roads along with the creation of new employment sites and a number of housing schemes. I’m pleased to see this part of the plan completed.

“The growth corridor project is one of a series of major, strategic investments in infrastructure that are a key part of the LEP’s ambitious programme to transform Lancashire’s economy, drive growth and create thousands of jobs and homes over the next decade.”

Similar improvements are currently underway at M65 Junctions 7 and 13, with all work due for completion during 2018.

Schemes to improve facilities at Burnley’s Rosegrove and Manchester Road railway stations have also been part of the Growth Corridor programme.