Darwen research centre, Barnfield P, Blackburn with Darwen Council

Plans for the manufacturing and research centre in Darwen have been approved. Credit: Blackburn with Darwen Council

Green light for Darwen manufacturing and research centre

Development of the facility, to be located at the Chapels site off Goose House Lane, is being funded from the £100m Town Deal.

The next step towards bringing the project to reality has been completed as Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning and highways committee has approved plans for the five-acre site at Chapels.

Plans were lodged by Barnfield Blackburn Ltd, the Barnfield Group and Blackburn with Darwen Council JV.

Along with the manufacturing research centre, 10 smaller industrial units feature in the development.

Sheffield Universities’ AMRC is in discussions to be the anchor tenant, to house its additive manufacturing accelerator.

Chair of the Darwen Town Deal board, Wayne Wild said: “We worked incredibly hard to secure the full £25m through the Town Deal and then use that to unlock more than £100m of new funding for Darwen.

“We want our plans for the town to be truly transformational, including creating opportunities around employment growth and business innovation too.

“The AMRC facility could be the first of its kind for the country – pioneering additive and 3D printing technology and creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive in that sector.

“Darwen has a long and proud industrial heritage – being a world-leader – and so we’re proud to be able to support plans for this new manufacturing and research centre and securing this planning permission is a fantastic step forward.”

Tracy Clavell-Bate, head of development and acquisition at Barnfield Group, said: “We’re really pleased to be bringing forward this development on the Chapels site.

“This is a prime location for a manufacturing development, and we’re progressing our discussions with the AMRC to be the anchor tenant there.

“It would be the first additive manufacturing accelerator of its kind in the UK, bringing with it a whole host of opportunities for the town. Having an AMRC in Darwen would be a huge coup.”

The £100m Darwen Town Deal is part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s £1bn vision for the future.

It’s main aims include town centre regeneration, employment growth and business innovation, making Darwin a destination for people to visit, bringing ultrafast fibre broadband to the area, and creating an East Lancashire sports village.

Council leader and deputy chair of the Darwen Town Deal, Cllr Phil Riley said: “We’re an ambitious borough with ambitious plans for growth.

“Our vision is driven by wanting to do better for our residents – we’re on a mission to create a more prosperous borough where no-one is left behind.

“Schemes like this proposed manufacturing research centre unlock new possibilities for Darwen – creating new jobs and supporting existing businesses to grow and new ones to thrive.

“There is a huge sense of momentum here and we’re working really hard to continue to build on that, these plans being yet another really good example of the results of strong partnership working and the confidence in Blackburn with Darwen as a place to invest and do business.”

The project team features DAY Architectural, E3P, Mode Transport, RS Acoustic Engineering, Stephen Haigh Buildings Archaeologist, and Capita.

To view the plans, search for reference number 10/23/0732 on Blackburn with Darwen Council’s planning portal.

Perspex International also has plans in the pipeline for the expansion of its neighbouring Chapels site via a £30m national manufacturing centre.

Funding for this will also be drawn from the town deal, and the planning application is expected to be submitted in the coming months.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

An excellent future-facing initiative.

By Rye

You are not doing anything for the folk who live in the area… traffic jams, lorries all over the place. Where are the alternative routes going to be? There are three ways of getting from that area to Blackburn and two to Bolton and the traffic is horrendous now. AND.. how many extra jobs are distribution units going to create…not that many methinks! Poor ‘Darren’…spoiling a once historical town.

By Anonymous

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below