Maple Grove forges ahead with £250m Blackburn masterplan 

Morrisons supermarket will relocate to the former Thwaites Brewery site off Penny Street, paving the way for the demolition of its existing store for the creation of 500 homes.  

Working in joint venture with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Maple Grove Developments also plans to create a five-building commercial district on the former markets site on the opposite side of Penny Street. 

The 10-year masterplan, encompassing 12-acres, also includes plans to restore the fire-destroyed St John’s Church before converting it into a flexible workspace, as well as the refurbishment and reopening of The Fleece Inn. 

BDP has drawn up the masterplan, more details of which are due to be unveiled early next year. 

The main element of the £250m strategy will see the existing Morrisons store off Railway Road, built in the 1980s, knocked down.  

A mix of homes will be constructed on the site, including an apartment block on the site of Newspaper House. 

The adjoining multistorey car park will be repurposed and operated by the council. 

A new Morrisons store where the brewery once stood will be served by a surface level car park. 

Daniel Thwaites & Co vacated the Blackburn site in 2018 and relocated to purpose-built premises at Mellor Brook in the Ribble Valley. 

In addition, forecourts developer EG is planning to create a petrol station and an electrical vehicle charging station next to the new Morrisons car park. 

It is hoped the redevelopment of the former Thwaites site could act as a catalyst for more regeneration in Blackburn. 

There are five other plots around the town centre earmarked in the council’s supplementary planning document as critical to the town’s future. 

The others are the Cathedral Quarter; Northgate and surrounds; Wainwright Way and surrounds; Fabric Borders around Victoria Square, and Barbara Castle Way north of the town centre. 

Maple Grove, the development arm of Eric Wright Group, entered into a joint venture with the council earlier this year. 

Cllr Phil Riley, the council’s executive member for growth & development, said: “This masterplan shows that the council is forward-thinking with its place making agenda and I am pleased to confirm we are already speaking to a number of partners about delivering the different schemes outlined in this blueprint.”

“Although our plans are ambitious, we are confident that this is an achievable vision that brings forward development proposals for our strategic
town centre sites that will be a game-changer in terms of transforming the centre of Blackburn.”

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All good except the 10 year timeline

By Tannoy

The next big step in the ongoing regeneration of Blackburn town centre …building upon some good work several years ago . An ambitious council not content with just standing still .

By George

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