Hundreds of jobs could be generated thanks to a new multi-million pound business hub in the heart of Chorley.
The employment development, off Euxton Lane and Alker Lane opposite Derian House Children’s Hospice, could see some 500 jobs generated for people in the Chorley area.
As landowners, Chorley Council has invested £1 million into the project and submitted a planning application to its own planning department to make the development a reality.
The council has described the site, which would bring offices, light industrial and general industrial to town, as “one of Chorley’s most important development sites”, describing this type of employment as “high in demand” in Chorley.
And while the authority is set to invest £1 million into the site, the council has calmed any fears over losses with a potential return every year of £200,000 on the cards – meaning that the site could be profitable after five years.
The total cost is set to lie between £4 million and £8 million according to the most recent figures, with the council looking at a council and contractor partner agreement. Where the money would come from remains unclear at this stage.
Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’re doing a lot of work at the moment to bring forward employment sites across the borough that will generate us much-needed income that we can put towards providing services for residents while creating hundreds of jobs for local people.
“The site at Alker Lane would complement the Strawberry Fields digital hub, which is just a short distance away, and help provide premises for businesses looking to expand or relocate into the borough.
“It’s just one of many sites coming forward at the moment, including the Botany Bay and Cowling Farm sites, which shows there is a lot of confidence in the borough as a place to invest.”
The site would be accessed off Euxton Lane through the entrance currently being created for the Strawberry Fields digital hub.
“We have to wait for planning approval before moving this forward but the site is already allocated for employment use in a highly sustainable location so we are hopeful that things will move fairly quickly,” said Coun Bradley.
“A consultation event has already been held with local residents and those comments have helped to shape the planning application.”
The land was acquired by the council in 2017 as part of a land swap with Homes England enabling the council to drive forward the development off sites like this.
At a public consultation at Chorley Town Hall last July some residents welcomed the development, just not in this location.
But the council noted that it falls within its 2012 Local Plan as an ‘integral element’ of its business strategy.