Heart Of Darwen
CGI of the former market hall site in Darwen

Five named on Blackburn framework

Barnfield Construction, Casey, Eric Wright Group, I&H Brown and Seddon have been appointed to a framework to bring forward council-owned sites for commercial development by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

The local authority has more than 180 public and private sites identified for development across the borough, and said that the framework will be used to help accelerate some of those sites, in addition to procuring construction and civil engineering works for infrastructure projects and capital programmes.

Two of the first schemes to come under the framework include the construction of a picturehouse operated by Reel Cinemas on the former site of the Waves leisure centre in Blackburn, and the new multi-use public space in Darwen town centre that replaces the former three-day market building. Demolition of this 1970s-built hall was started last September, to be replaced by a £1.67m three-tier open space.

The framework will operate for a minimum of four years with options to extend by a further four years, enabling the council to accelerate construction and development activity through pre-procured delivery partners, with opportunities for early contractor involvement enabling joint development of schemes. The framework will also be open for any public sector body within Lancashire to use, overseen by Growth Lancashire.

Cllr Phil Riley, the council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “This framework further demonstrates market confidence in Blackburn with Darwen with investment and commitment from five respected local and regional companies.”

Simon Jones, the council’s growth programme director, added: “The flexibility of this framework to deliver construction, civil engineering and development schemes will help accelerate growth across the borough delivering our infrastructure schemes supported by LEP Growth Deal 3 funding.”

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