Ikea Cuerden

Ikea pulls out of £430m Cuerden development

Anchor tenant Ikea has backed out of opening its store at the £430m Cuerden development south of Preston in a move described as “extremely disappointing” by Lancashire County Council.

The retailer had been lined up as one of the development’s anchor tenants since 2016, but has now opted to back out citing “increased development costs and delays outside of Ikea’s control”.

Site investigations at Cuerden had already begun earlier this year, but in April it was revealed the cost of earthworks had nearly doubled in four months, rising from £2m to £4m.

Richard Rands, Ikea UK and Ireland property manager, said: “After careful consideration, Ikea UK and Ireland has decided not to progress with the planned development of an Ikea store at Cuerden Strategic Site, Preston. Our decision is due to increased development costs and delays outside of Ikea’s control which no longer make this location viable.

“We will continue to look for new sites and opportunities in this area as part of our commitment to expansion in the UK. At Ikea, we want to be more accessible, bringing our unique home furniture expertise and product range closer to more customers, and we look forward to exploring new opportunities.”

Cuerden, which is being brought forward by Lancashire County Council, Brookhouse Group, and Maple Grove Developments, is set to create 4,500 new jobs, around 350 of which would have been at the Ikea store.

Leader of Lancashire Council Cllr Geoff Driver slammed the move, announced on Thursday, and said discussions with the retailer would be held over the coming weeks.

“All parties agreed to the timescales more than a year ago and we have been working together consistently to meet all deadlines,” he said.

“We appreciate that there is a current state of uncertainty in the UK retail market generally, and we know there have been rising costs.

“However, this still remains a great investment opportunity. The site is in a very sought after location, right on the motorway network with planning consent already granted.

“Lancashire County Council will continue to work hard with their partners, the Eric Wright Group and Brookhouse, to ensure they reach the best possible outcome for Lancashire.”

The wider Cuerden site is due to include 861,000 sq ft of industrial space, 387,000 sq ft of offices, 757,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, an 120-bed 86,000 sq ft hotel, and 120,500 sq ft for a gym, crèche and car showroom. It secured planning approval last year.

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Great news!

Ridiculous using what should be an entirely industrial and warehouse site for out of town retail, office and housing.

The 1980’s ended years ago. Someone should tell LCC.


I wonder why they spent a fortune obtaining planning permission, then start on site only to find increased development costs, issue lots of positive PR, promise thousands of jobs – yet they forget to complete the signing of their major pre-let, very poor show.

By Morse

18 months talk, 4 months working ripping countryland up £4 mill spent and no agreements in place LCC muppets

Local lass very happy for no Ikea

By Karen

This could have been a great asset for Central Lancashire and today’s news is hugely disappointing.

By Junior

These stores are always doing this. Marks and Spencers did it in both Oldham and Rochdale.

By Elephant

Great piece in today’s Sunday Times by hedge fund manager Luke Johnson taking a swipe at many things banks, FTSE managers but also Council administrators pretending they are entrepreneurs and dabbling in real estate development simply because they have access to cheap money and think they cannot fail…..

By A Developer