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Meatballs and traffic! IKEA is coming to Preston as Cuerden plans unveiled

Posted on - 11th November, 2016 - 8:33am | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Business, Lostock Hall, News, Politics
Ikea has long held ambitions to open in Lancashire Pic: Gerard Stolk

Ikea has long held ambitions to open in Lancashire Pic: Gerard Stolk

Ikea is to be the flagship store at a major new development on the outskirts of Preston.

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Cuerden strategic site at where the M65 begins has been earmarked for development for a number of years and the next step in the plans has been unveiled.

The Swedish furniture giant is to finally have a Preston home after rumours of wanting to locate in Lancashire for decades. The current nearest store is at Warrington.

Prestonians are being urged to see proposals for the land near Lostock Hall which Lancashire County Council says will create 4,000 jobs.

Alongside Ikea there are plans for restaurants, offices, homes and other retailers.

Real estate manager for Ikea Tim Farlam said: “At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. We want to make IKEA accessible to many more people and are very excited to be opening a number of new stores around the UK.

“The Lancashire Cuerden site presents a great opportunity, given its scale, accessibility and location. A new store here would provide people from Lancashire with relevant home furnishing solutions.”

Three consultation events are being held for nearby residents to give their vews on the plans which are part of the Preston and South Ribble City Deal – a £430m investment in infrastructure in the area.

Area known as the Cuerden site earmarked for development

Area known as the Cuerden site earmarked for development

What do the politicians say?

Leader of the county council councillor Jennifer Mein 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.

“This development is a key part of the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal and shows just how it will bring jobs and prosperity to the area. I’d urge local people to have their say on this ambitious project through the public consultation.”

Leader of Preston City Council councillor Peter Rankin said: “We would welcome the multi-million pounds worth of investment in new businesses and thousands of new jobs. This would create much needed job opportunities for the people of Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire. The interest shown by an iconic and global company like IKEA is a real sign that the City Deal is working and we are an attractive place for investment.

“There may be some concerns about the impact of retail provision on Preston City Centre and we will ensure, through the planning process, that this will be carefully considered and all the evidence thoroughly reviewed. There is major investment flowing into Preston City Centre with the Markets Quarter, Guild Hall, the Bus Station and the Harris – so we will need to ensure that any development at Cuerden complements Preston City Centre as a place to live, work, visit and shop.”

Who is building it?

Eric Wright Group and Brookhouse Group are the development partners.

Jeremy Hartley from the 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, as their Regeneration Partner, to bring this site forward.

“The site requires a major investment into infrastructure in order to make it available for development. Higher value uses, such as retail, are therefore needed in the early stages to deliver that infrastructure development which, in turn, will enable us to unlock the longer term opportunities for employment and regeneration across the site. 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. ”

Read more: Environmental report submitted for Cuerden site

What will be in it?

Creation of more than 4,500 new jobs at the site.

80,000 sq m of new industrial space, comprising of a range of separate units with ancillary offices.

A further circa 26,000 sq m of new office and business space, including a range of individual units.

Enabling retail development, including a new IKEA and up to five large format units for national retailers.

Mixed use development to include a 120-bedroom hotel with leisure/gym facilities, car showrooms, family pub and restaurants.

Up to 210 new homes.

Green infrastructure and landscaping for people walking, living on and visiting the site.

Significant highways improvements on the local road network, along with new public transport provision.

New pedestrian, cycling and jogging paths throughout the site, linking to other places such as Cuerden Valley Park.

How can I have my say on it?

The consultation events take place in the coming days:

Thursday 17 November – South Ribble Borough Council offices, Banqueting Suite, Leyland – 2pm-8pm
Friday 18 November- St Catherine’s Hospice, Garden Room, Cuerden – 2pm-8pm
Saturday 19 November – The Harris, Rotunda Area, Preston – 10am-4pm

You can also view the plans on the This is Cuerden website and people with questions regarding the development can contact the development team on 0800 089 0362 or by emailing info@thisiscuerden.co.uk

What do you think about the proposals for Ikea? Let us know in the comments below

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