Funding for the Pioneer Place leisure development is to be discussed at Burnley’s full council meeting this evening, with a planning application expected within weeks for what has been billed as a £26m project.
Approval is sought for the development to be added to the council’s capital programme. This will include the acceptance of grant funding from Lancashire County Council, which agreed in October to provide £3.2m towards the scheme. Burnley’s scrutiny committee unanimously endorsed its funding commitment in its meeting on 10 December.
In March, Burnley appointed Maple Grove Developments, part of the Eric Wright Group, to deliver Pioneer Place, which is to include a relocated Reel cinema, restaurants, a public plaza, shops and a 125-space car park.
The site sits between Addington Capital’s 365,000 sq ft Charter Walk shopping centre and Burnley College and University of Central Lancashire facilities.
For a long time seen as crucial to improving the town’s leisure economy, the site, once known as Curzon Street, has proved problematic, with Henry Boot and Terrace Hill both trying and failing to make schemes work over the last decade. The council, which is to use the LCC support for highway and access works, now believes it has a viable plan.
On the county council’s committing of support in October, Cllr Mark Townsend, leader of Burnley Borough Council, said: “Recent investments have already seen increases in the number of visitors to the town. Pioneer Place will build on this, by diversifying our offer and attracting even more visitors to our town centre. This will further boost the local economy and benefit local businesses.”
The documents for tonight’s meeting cannot be viewed online and officers have proposed that the public be excluded from the meeting before three matters are discussed: Pioneer Place; a 139-bed student accommodation scheme representing phase four of the On the Banks scheme; and the approval of £220,000 for refurbishment and equipment at St Peter’s Leisure Centre.