Asset manager Jesta Group wants to redevelop the 140,000 sq ft shopping centre, introducing around 130 affordable homes and scaling back retail, while retaining some commercial uses.
The group’s UK director David Berman told Place North West that the project would aim to bring people back into the centre of Accrington while also helping Hyndburn Council fulfil its housing requirements.
“Retail generally is very challenged at the moment,” he said. “We are looking pragmatically at how best to get people back into the town centre and make it thrive again.”
The project would feature low-rise housing and could include the demolition of part of the Arndale shopping centre, which is located on Union Street.
However, the ground floor would be retained as commercial accommodation to cater for the needs of the incoming residents, according to Berman.
The project is in the early stages of development and a timeline for delivery would depend on buy-in from the local authority, he added.
Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said that he supports the idea of redeveloping the Accrington Arndale, which opened in 1987, and acknowledged that town centres “have to change” amid the decline of the high street.
Parkinson said: “Engagement with Jesta Group will play an important role in creating a vision for a vibrant 21st century town centre.
“I look forward to constructive discussions with all stakeholders to address the issues within our town centres”.