Politicians are vowing that Cuerden will still go ahead despite IKEA withdrawing from the scheme.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council have expressed their ‘extreme disappointment’ with the Swedish furniture giant.
IKEA said due to delays and the rising costs of development it would not be continuing with its investment in the Cuerden store, which would have been the second-largest IKEA in the UK.
The Cuerden development, which is due to include other retailers, restaurants, housing and office space, is said to create around 4,500 jobs.
Read more: Work begins on the Cuerden site
Here is what the leader of Lancashire County Council had to say in full.
Cllr Driver said: “IKEA have notified us that they wish to withdraw their plans for a new store at the Cuerden development site. This is extremely disappointing and we will hold discussions over the next few weeks with IKEA, the main anchor occupier for the retail element of the strategic development site at Cuerden.
“All parties agreed to the timescales more than a year ago and we have been working together consistently to meet all deadlines.
“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.”
This is the response from IKEA that Cllr Driver was responding to. Blog Preston asked IKEA for any further comment but they said there was no additional comment to be made.
IKEA UK and Ireland property manager Richard Rands 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.”
What do you think of IKEA’s decision? What do you think will happen with Cuerden now? Let us know in the comments below