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.”