The 160-acre Cuerden site near Bamber Bridge has been revealed as the potential location for furniture giant Ikea’s third North West store, a deal that could trigger development at one of Lancashire’s key strategic zones.
Lancashire County Council and development partners Eric Wright Group and Brookhouse have launched public consultation, and will hold exhibitions in Leyland, Cuerden and Preston next week on the scheme, which has a target of 4,500 jobs.
Cuerden is a key strategic site in the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal. Plans include 860,000 sq ft of industrial with ancillary offices, 280,000 sq ft of offices, up to six large format retail units, a 120-bedroom hotel, a car showroom, up to 210 new homes and cycling and jogging paths, along with improved highways.
Cllr Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a development that will bring economic and employment benefits for the whole of the county. Situated at the start of the M65 and minutes from the M6 and the M61, the site could not be better placed. I’d urge local people to have their say on this ambitious project through the public consultation.”
Jeremy Hartley from Eric Wright Group, said: “Cuerden has long been seen as one of the best development opportunity sites in the North West, and as a local company we are delighted to be working alongside the county council to bring this site forward.”
Because of the significant investment in infrastructure required, Hartley said that the higher value uses, including retail, would happen first, unlocking the rest of the scheme. He added: “Ikea’s choice of this site for a potential new store is clearly a boost to the proposals. We are also working to bring a small number of other well-known national brands to the development.”
Lambert Smith Hampton is acting for Lancashire County Council and Eric Wright Group as retail agent.