'Exciting' Burnley Masterplan could bring £100m. boost to town

The Burnley Masterplan
The Burnley Masterplan
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Councillors are set to approve a blueprint that sets out proposals on how Burnley town centre and canalside areas could look in the future.

Burnley Council’s Executive is recommended to agree the Town Centre and Canalside Masterplan, which could bring a £100m. boost and up to 1,000 new jobs to the borough, when it meets at the end of this month.

It follows a five-week public consultation with residents, businesses and other interested groups. Views on a range of topics from car parking, to possible use of buildings, to improving retail choice were taken into account in the final document.

The key proposals are:

• A major new leisure development: “Pioneer Place.” The plan is for Reel cinema to move from its current site in Manchester Road, on the edge of the town centre, to a new multi-screen complex at Curzon Street. The new site will also include new food, beverage and retail units. It would include a new public square and improved pedestrian access. The development would include a 125-space car park.

• Continued improvement to Charter Walk shopping centre, including new frontages for the shops facing Market Square and the relocation of the market hall access stair.

• The development of a university campus site, including new student accommodation around Sandygate Square. A longer-term option is to develop the George Street Mill site, which is between the town centre and Sandygate.

Largely derelict at present, the area could become a future university campus site, including additional teaching buildings for UCLan, with more student accommodation, or it could be developed for residential use, building on the success of Bridgewalk Apartments.

Another long-term aspiration is to revamp Yorkshire Street. This could include improving pedestrian access to Turf Moor.

Coun. Asif Raja, Executive member for Economy and Growth, added: “We’re grateful to everyone who fed back their views during the consultation. The overall response was generally supportive of our vision for the future of Burnley.

“This masterplan sets out how the town centre and surrounding areas could be developed to establish Burnley as a university town with a thriving and vibrant shopping centre and an historic heart that successfully mixes industrial heritage with future aspirations.

"The council’s job is to bring together investment from the council, the wider public sector, and business, so we can deliver aspects of the masterplan.

“This isn’t going to happen overnight, but we make no excuses for putting forward an ambitious and aspirational vision that will deliver a brighter future for Burnley.”