Plans to transform Burnley town centre into a vibrant cultural hub over the next decade have been met with overwhelming support.
The draft masterplan released by Burnley Council outlines a number of big projects that will look to not only boost the local economy by £100m. but also create 1,000 of jobs.
These include the major new retail and leisure development on the former Pioneer site in Curzon Street, further improvements to Charter Walk, the development of a university campus site around Sandygate Square, offices on the former Thompson Centre site and a revamp of Yorkshire Street.
Exciting plans show how Burnley town centre could look in a decade
Leader of Lancashire County Council, Geoff Driver CBE, is backing the future of the town centre.
“Following our investment in the pedestrianised area with Burnley Council, the response of shoppers and traders has been really positive.
"I agree, however, that we shouldn’t just stop there and expect the growth to continue. Towns like Burnley are part of what makes Lancashire special. It is key to the county’s economic future, so we need to plan for the next phase of Burnley’s transformation.”
Dr. Ebrahim Adia, Provost of UCLan, said: “This is a really exciting time for Burnley. The masterplan shows what tremendous opportunities there are here. Our aim is to educate 4,000 students in Burnley by 2025; that is a 10-fold increase on current numbers. We’ll need new accommodation and leisure facilities to accommodate that growth.”
Alex Wagstaff, speaking on behalf of the owners of Charter Walk, added: “There are regular news reports about how town centres are dying on their feet. Don’t always believe it. Burnley is one of those areas that is finding its niche and still has room to grow.
"We are investing in Charter Walk because the town centre is getting better and better. That doesn’t happen by accident. It requires good design and good public spaces. With this plan, Burnley is keeping the momentum up.”
Dave Baldwin, Chief Executive of Burnley Football Club, said: “Visiting football fans already come away from the town with a great impression. What they find is good mix of high street and local retailers, craft beer bars, and vibrant cafés. The enduring memory for many is how friendly and helpful the people are.
"We’ve got a town centre to be proud of and the football club wants to be part of making it even more special. If we are able to deliver on the suggested improvements around Turf Moor, it would really enhance the match day experience.”