Centros' proposals for the Canal Corridor site, which have been under discussion since 2009

MIPIM UK | Lancaster plans 2021 start on long-stalled Canal Corridor

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

Willmott Dixon PNG

Place North West partner

Lancaster City Council’s plans for a mixed-used Canal Corridor development through the city are still alive and kicking, according to chief executive Susan Parsonage, with heads of terms for a £250m project set to be nailed down by the spring.

The project is set to include an arts centre, food and beverage uses, and student accommodation incorporating old and new buildings, she told Place North West.

A partnership between the council, British Land and the university to develop the area has been under discussion for a number of years. British Land bought the stalled Canal Corridor North retail site from Centros in 2012, and appointed architect Chapman Taylor to work up designs. The area was earmarked for a 300,000 sq ft development anchored by Debenhams, but planning permission was refused at inquiry in 2010.

British Land has a development agreement in place who the council for the acquisition of 7.7 acres next door.

Lancaster University came on board as a backer of the scheme in 2016, which aims to redeveloped the area around Duke’s, the Grand, the former Mitchell’s brewery, and the Musicians’ Co-Op.

Green councillors suggested the development agreement be terminated at the start of last year, as they felt that wranglings over land acquisitions not already under council control were delaying the project.

Now, according to Parsonage, British Land is set to invest £100m in the project. For the arts and retail element there is a development value of £180m, and once student accommodation is included this raises to £250m. Discussions as to the operation of the arts venue are underway, and Arts Council England are “very interested”.

The council is aiming for planning applications to be submitted next year, and development to start in 2021 for a 2023 completion.

  • MIPIM UK coverage is brought to you in association with Willmott Dixon. Place North West can be found on stand H34

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