The Preston-based company has been appointed the sole developer by Lancashire County Council to take forward the 160-acre Lancashire Central project nearly two years after Ikea pulled out of anchoring the site.
The earlier project had Lancashire County Council, Brookhouse Group, and Maple Grove Developments involved. Brookhouse competed with Maple Grove when the development opportunity was re-tendered and will now no longer be involved.
Stephen Young, executive director for growth, environment, transport and community services at Lancashire County Council, said: “We have selected Maple Grove Developments as our development partner for the Lancashire Central scheme. Brookhouse is an existing landowner and we will continue to work with them as one of our key stakeholders.”
Karen Hirst, managing director of Maple Grove Developments, said: “As a Lancashire developer we are hugely committed to making Lancashire Central a success. Having worked closely with the Council on this scheme previously, we feel privileged to have been selected again and look forward to making an immediate start on bringing forward this site to create employment opportunities for the local area.”
There is existing consent, granted in 2017, for 2m sq ft of development made up of:
- 840,000 sq ft general employment space, warehousing and light industrial
- 600,000 sq ft large logistics or other non-retail use
- 260,000 sq ft of mixed commercial, food retail, hotel and car sales
- 130,000 sq ft for business and industrial hybrid units
- 210 new homes
The proposals include enhanced traffic flow by adding extra capacity at five junctions.
2019: Funding and Legal Agreements in place
2019: Design work for on and off-site highways and infrastructure improvements
2020: Start of work on the M65 terminus and slipway improvements
2021: Completion of improvements on the M65 terminus and new slip road
2021: First occupiers on site
This is a key site for the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal, providing the biggest single location for job creation in the City Deal area.
Situated at the end of the M65 motorway, and close to both the M6 and M61, the development is planned to include office and business space, logistics and manufacturing commercial space, mixed use areas and housing.
Based in Bamber Bridge, Maple Grove Developments is part of Eric Wright Group.
Detailed plans are expected to be submitted later this year.
Cllr Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire, said: “It’s vital that we manage this project in the right way, so that we create something which works for the needs of business and create jobs in Lancashire, while understanding the location and setting.”
Ikea withdrew in May 2018 after deciding not to increase development costs and to focus on existing stores instead.