First-look at £250m Blackburn town centre plans

Published 27th Feb 2023

It’s set to be the biggest town centre regeneration of its type in the whole of the region.

And, it’s part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s £1bn vision for the future.

Now, this brand new image shows how the £250m Blackburn Town Centre Masterplan could completely transform the whole area around the former Thwaites site.

It’ll see Morrisons move to a brand new store – a modern and more accessible building for their customers which better suits their needs.

This will pave the way for the Council to acquire their existing site and multi-storey car park with opportunities for town centre living, a new hotel and additional parking for up to 700 cars with new EV charging outlets.  

There’ll be a brand new skills and education campus too of national significance – bringing thousands of students into the town centre and boosting the economy.

And, the neighbouring St John’s Church – destroyed by a devastating fire in 2019 – will have a multi-million pound makeover, creating new, high-quality flexible workspace to support our growing entrepreneurial business network in the borough.

“As a Council, it’s our vision that every single resident, no matter who they are, achieves a good quality of life in Blackburn with Darwen,” Leader Councillor Phil Riley says.

“For that, we need to have a strong emphasis on growth – bringing new investment into our towns, supporting our businesses, creating job opportunities and a quality homes offer for our residents.

“Our £250m Blackburn Town Centre Masterplan could be truly transformational.

“Coupled with our £50m new Cultural Quarter in the area surrounding King George’s Hall, this is the chance to do something which will make a real difference to the town centre and its future.”

The Council also successfully secured £20m of Levelling-Up funding from the Government – worth £30m with added investment by the Council.

That’ll be used to upgrade Junction 5 of the M65 and improve walking and cycling links in the South East Blackburn area, including around Haslingden Road – significantly improving employment, housing, health and carbon reduction outcomes for residents and businesses.

Both schemes are part of the Council’s impressive Blackburn Growth Axis – one of its six strategic plans for growth as outlined in its new Local Plan – which have the potential make the area one of the most important economic centres in the North.

“As a Council, we are carving out a really strong reputation for the borough as a place to invest and do business,” Councillor Riley added.

“We will not let Blackburn with Darwen be left behind – we are determined to see it prosper so we can help improve the lives of our residents and, for me as Leader, that’s what matters most.”

For all the latest updates on the £250m Town Centre Masterplan, follow the Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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