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£25m development planned for Blackburn

17 Sep 12 Plans have been submitted for a £25m scheme that will redevelop Blackburn town centre.

Left to right: town centre regeneration manager Clare Turner, council chief exec Harry Catherall, cathedral dean Christopher Armstrong, Cllr Dave Harling, and  HCA area manager Hazel Cooper
Left to right: town centre regeneration manager Clare Turner, council chief exec Harry Catherall, cathedral dean Christopher Armstrong, Cllr Dave Harling, and HCA area manager Hazel Cooper

Maple Grove Developments, part of Preston-based Eric Wright Group, has lodged a joint planning application with Blackburn Cathedral for the Blackburn Cathedral Quarter scheme. A decision on the application is expected by November 2012.

The 88,000 sq ft development will comprise a hotel, offices, restaurants, shops, a new public square and bus interchange, and a ‘Clergy Court’ to house senior members of the clergy and lay staff next to Blackburn Cathedral.

Maple Grove Developments is close to a deal with a national hotel chain to operate the 60-bed, six storey hotel.

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As well as Blackburn Cathedral, the developer has worked with the local council and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) to bring the development to fruition.

Maple Grove director Andrew Dewhurst said: “The lodging of the planning application follows years of strong collaboration between the four partners who have enabled this scheme to reach this important stage. We hope that, following granting of the planning application later this year, work will commence on site in 2013 and will be completed by mid-2015.”

Councillor Dave Harling, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said: “This is very exciting news for the whole borough. The development of the Cathedral Quarter is part of an ambitious 15 year vision which we have been determined to see become a reality. Despite the cuts, the council and its partners have worked hard to ensure that this £25m scheme still goes ahead. The development will bring much needed jobs to the town and will be an impressive addition to the town centre which has already seen a new shopping centre, new market and new youth zone. Together with the new bus station, this will completely transform an important part of the town centre and bring all the new developments together as one.”

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