160 acre site is set for business park

Hopes: Land earmarked for development as part of Cuerden Strategic Development Site
Hopes: Land earmarked for development as part of Cuerden Strategic Development Site

A multi-million pound business hub creating thousands of jobs could be built between Chorley and Leyland in a landmark deal.

Lancashire County Council has agreed a £400,000 deal in principle to buy a huge patch of land between the M6 and M65 motorways in Bamber Bridge.

The Cuerden strategic development site will be the single biggest development undertaken by the county council for more than 20 years. It will pave the way for the 160-acre site to be transformed into a flagship business hub that could bring millions of pounds of investment and thousands of jobs.

The site is one of Lancashire’s seven regional strategic sites and is considered one of the best development opportunities in the county, according to market analysis reports, master plans and development frameworks commissioned by South Ribble Council, North West Development Agency and LCC.

A deal worth £414,400 for the county council to acquire the site, has been agreed in principle. County Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the council, said it is too early to predict exactly what businesses could move into the site, but said it has enormous scope to grow the economy by attracting investment and job opportunities.

He said: “This is a landmark strategic scheme, with the potential to provide a foundation for economic growth in the short term and for future generations.

“We’re always seeking to improve Lancashire’s appeal to businesses and providing the right infrastructure is a vital part of that work.

“Companies with the potential for high growth, and that provide sustainable new jobs, will help us to develop a thriving economy here in the county.”

It is thought a final transfer of the site could be completed by late September.

Once the deal is completed, it is estimated £500,000 will be needed to take the project to planning approval stage and a further £4m could be used to kick-start the first stage of development. The site, which includes three parcels of land, is currently owned by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the government’s land-owning department since it was set up as the Commission for New Towns in the 1960s.

County Coun Michael Green, the county’s cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said negotiations have been ongoing for a long time.

He said: “I believe it will become the jewel in the county’s crown and we are determined to make it happen.”