Council buys landmark Brierfield Mills building for huge regeneration and jobs project

PENDLE Council has completed the purchase of Brierfield Mills ... thanks to a grant from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

Tuesday, 20th March 2012, 8:00 am

The building, former home of textile giant Smith and Nephew and which was bought for £1.5m, has been transferred to the council’s pioneering joint venture company with Barnfield Investment Properties – PEARL2.

Coun. Mike Blomeley, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “It’s fantastic news that we’ve been able to buy the building at no cost to the council.

“This is something I’ve pushed hard for during my time as council leader, so I’m particularly pleased we’ve succeeded in acquiring this iconic site.

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“I’d like to thank all those involved in achieving this result, particularly Pendle Council’s staff who’ve continued to pursue every opportunity to deliver this fantastic outcome.

“The Homes and Communities Agency gave us 100% of the money needed to buy it.

“The mill was independently valued and we think we’ve given a fair price for it. It has really exciting potential as a landmark development for Pendle.”

A new arm of PEARL2 has been created to lead on the regeneration of the mill, which provides 380,000 square feet on a seven acre site.

Coun. Blomeley added: “This will now become Pendle’s flagship economic regeneration project.

“We’ll be preserving this fantastic Grade II listed building and ultimately creating hundreds of jobs over the coming years!”

A range of uses are currently being discussed but as more detailed plans are developed, they’ll be announced.

Bids to enable work to go ahead will be submitted to national and European funds and many development partners will be invited to get involved as this massive project gets under way.

It’s expected it will take up to 10 years before the regeneration of the mill is complete.

Tim Webber, chairman and managing director of Barnfield Investment Properties, said: “As a Pendle company we’re passionate about the Brierfield Mills complex. It has fantastic potential.

“Not only does it mean we have an opportunity to preserve it for generations to come but we’ll be creating jobs and hopefully a landmark for the region!”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I am delighted the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency have made this possible with a substantial grant.

“Over the past 18 months I have met the Leader of Pendle Council, Coun. Mike Blomeley, frequently for updates on this issue and am delighted his hard work has been rewarded.

“Brierfield Mill has huge potential to be a key driver of economic regeneration in our area, so I am delighted it is now owned by the council.”

Pendle Councillor Naeem Ashraf said: “I have been lobbying the council and working hard ever since the mill complex was bought by the charity. I wish the charity well but their plans for the boarding school at this site were just crazy. I worked with community representatives to start a petition against those proposals.

“I am just happy it’s now in Pearl’s hands.This complements the excellent work with the conversion of Lob Lane Mill and associated house building below the railway line.”