A major development site on the outskirts of Preston has been rebranded and politicians are appealing for a new anchor store to take on Cuerden.Advertisement
IKEA pulled out in May and would have taken a tenth of the 65-hectare site.
Lancashire County Council says the Cuerden scheme is now known as ‘Lancashire Central’ and it wants to hear from other major retailers or companies who might be interested in the land.
The county council says it had been ‘in dialogue’ with the Swedish furniture giant who said they were withdrawing from the scheme due to ‘rising costs’ and ‘delays’. It was due to be the second-largest IKEA in the UK.
Read more: IKEA Cuerden response in full from Lancashire County Council
County council leader councillor Geoff Driver said: “We are disappointed that IKEA has chosen not to be part of this scheme.
“However we are confident that this prime site will be very attractive to other companies with vision and aspirations, and are therefore looking at other options for the site.
“The site is in a very sought after location, right on the motorway network, and comes with planning consent already granted. It is a great investment opportunity.
“We will also be working hard to attract firms to the site and ensure they are aware of all the positives of locating to this part of Lancashire, and we are already talking to investors who are very interested in locating to this part of the county.”
The Cuerden scheme, which will sit where the M65 begins and joins the A582, is also going to include other shops, a pub/restaurant, offices, homes and a number of logistics companies.
Work has already begun on the site with landscaping work undertaken, trees cut down and boreholes drilled for archeological digging.
Read more: St George’s Shopping Centre revamp gets the go ahead
Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, the council whose borough the Cuerden scheme falls into, councillor Mary Green said: South Ribble is already famous for attracting big names to do business and is proud to be home to the likes of DAF, Waitrose and Dr Oetker.
“Lancashire Central couldn’t be better placed with fantastic access to major transport networks and is ideally located in the Best Place to Live in the UK.
“As well as our great links to business, we are proud to boast excellent education provision and offer a fantastic borough to re-locate to.
“This site represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and boost the local economy significantly.
“We’ll continue to work hard with Lancashire County Council and our partners to maximise the potential of this site.”
Who do you think will take on the Cuerden site? Let us know your views on its future in the comment below