Aerial photos show scale of work on £33m Blackburn Cathedral Quarter

Blackburn Boulevard from the air. Pictures: Suave Aerial Photographers

Blackburn Boulevard from the air. Pictures: Suave Aerial Photographers

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

THESE new aerial pictures from an unmanned ‘drone’ aircraft show the scale of work being undertaken to prepare Blackburn town centre for the new £33m Cathedral Quarter development.

They reveal the scale, and width, of the rarely exposed River Blakewater, running the length of the former Boulevard.

Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks.

Progress has already been made on the new roof of the culvert to allow construction of the office and hotel on either side. Piling will start next month.

Cathedral Canon Andrew Hindley said: “These amazing photographs demonstrate the massive amount of redevelopment taking place in the Cathedral Quarter.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“The scheme, as can be seen, is well underway. The benefits will be amazing.”

Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “This is an exciting project which will transform the town centre, and create hundreds of jobs.

“There has been a great deal of interest in this current phase because the River Blakewater has been uncovered for the first time in many years for work on the culvert.

“Once the roof has been completed on the culvert, the new office and hotel will rise from the ground above.”

Adrian Taylor, senior director of contractors Eric Wright Civil Engineering, said: “The technical challenges presented while ren-ewing the culvert structure give our team the opport-unity to exhibit their skills on a job of this scale.

“This new infrastructure will provide the springb-oard for the rest of the dev-elopment.”

The images can be seen by logging onto http://suaveairphotos.co.uk/general/4/Blackburn/

Comments (10)

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12:52am Sat 14 Jun 14

fireonthemountain says...

May I ask a question or two ?

Who is paying for this ?

Now to quote from this article.....

Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks.

Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court .
How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me .

Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby ..

Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting
at the seams .

Office blocks - for The Council obviously .

Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity .
May I ask a question or two ? Who is paying for this ? Now to quote from this article..... Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks. Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court . How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me . Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby .. Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting at the seams . Office blocks - for The Council obviously . Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity . fireonthemountain
  • Score: 10

2:14am Sat 14 Jun 14

englishmuslim says...

fireonthemountain wrote:
May I ask a question or two ?

Who is paying for this ?

Now to quote from this article.....

Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks.

Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court .
How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me .

Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby ..

Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting
at the seams .

Office blocks - for The Council obviously .

Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity .
Very well said. A lot of the taxpayer's money is being wasted in this project.
[quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: May I ask a question or two ? Who is paying for this ? Now to quote from this article..... Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks. Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court . How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me . Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby .. Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting at the seams . Office blocks - for The Council obviously . Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity .[/p][/quote]Very well said. A lot of the taxpayer's money is being wasted in this project. englishmuslim
  • Score: 13

8:20am Sat 14 Jun 14

shytalk says...

They will get more visitors if they just leave it as it is....Ie under construction.
They will get more visitors if they just leave it as it is....Ie under construction. shytalk
  • Score: 14

8:24am Sat 14 Jun 14

bow1974 says...

englishmuslim wrote:
fireonthemountain wrote:
May I ask a question or two ?

Who is paying for this ?

Now to quote from this article.....

Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks.

Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court .
How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me .

Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby ..

Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting
at the seams .

Office blocks - for The Council obviously .

Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity .
Very well said. A lot of the taxpayer's money is being wasted in this project.
Totaly agree as the saying gose You can't polish a turd at least the drunks/ neds/goths will have somewhere nice to hang out and make the place look more run down Blackburn as a shopping venue has had it complete waste of money.
[quote][p][bold]englishmuslim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fireonthemountain[/bold] wrote: May I ask a question or two ? Who is paying for this ? Now to quote from this article..... Major buildings, such as St Mary’s House and Jubilee House, have been demolished to clear the ground for the ambitious scheme, which includes a Clergy Court, cloister garden, Premier Inn hotel, restaurants, shops, public land- scaped gardens, and office blocks. Well I must admit Blackburn is desperately short of a Clergy Court . How we have existed all this time without a cloister garden is beyond me . Shops ? - definitely need more of those , not as though there are any empty ones anywhere nearby .. Restaurants and an Hotel . Because all the current ones are bursting at the seams . Office blocks - for The Council obviously . Vote Labour - the alternative is prosperity .[/p][/quote]Very well said. A lot of the taxpayer's money is being wasted in this project.[/p][/quote]Totaly agree as the saying gose You can't polish a turd at least the drunks/ neds/goths will have somewhere nice to hang out and make the place look more run down Blackburn as a shopping venue has had it complete waste of money. bow1974
  • Score: 15

11:25am Sat 14 Jun 14

s_smith says...

A lot of tax payers money gets wasted on a lot of things... of course, you can always trust Blackburn's locals to be bitter and "put a downer" on improving a busy part of the town.

For information, the Council isnt funding this in a great way, other than providing practical assistance.

"Like many Councils, Blackburn with Darwen does not have the financial
resources sufficient to tackle all of its regeneration priorities and is reliant on a range of other sources. However, it can assist in the delivery of regeneration projects through the use of its land and property assets. In the Cathedral Quarter, the Council has substantial property assets, owning the Jubilee Street Zone, the existing Boulevard Bus Station and land and property along the Darwen Street and Church Street frontages to the Cathedral Precinct. The way in which the Council utilises these assets, e.g. through straight-forward disposal or in a partnership agreement, can have a major influence upon the realisation of projects and in successfully securing of the Vision for the area. In addition, the
Council is supporting the scheme with a substantial contribution
through its capital programme." Supplementary Planning Document: 2009.

"Council bosses said that they would not occupy the new office buildings which would be offered to private sector companies including solicitors and national food chains." LT: December 2011.

The bus interchange is to be funded "from the major scheme bid funding awarded by the DfT for Pennine Reach" - Regeneration case, Pennine Reach 2011.

"The project is part funded by the HCA. European Regional Development Fund and a loan awarded to Maple Grove by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership from the government's Growing Places Fund." HCA Website 2013.

Once again, it only takes a few minutes with google to find this stuff out.
A lot of tax payers money gets wasted on a lot of things... of course, you can always trust Blackburn's locals to be bitter and "put a downer" on improving a busy part of the town. For information, the Council isnt funding this in a great way, other than providing practical assistance. "Like many Councils, Blackburn with Darwen does not have the financial resources sufficient to tackle all of its regeneration priorities and is reliant on a range of other sources. However, it can assist in the delivery of regeneration projects through the use of its land and property assets. In the Cathedral Quarter, the Council has substantial property assets, owning the Jubilee Street Zone, the existing Boulevard Bus Station and land and property along the Darwen Street and Church Street frontages to the Cathedral Precinct. The way in which the Council utilises these assets, e.g. through straight-forward disposal or in a partnership agreement, can have a major influence upon the realisation of projects and in successfully securing of the Vision for the area. In addition, the Council is supporting the scheme with a substantial contribution through its capital programme." Supplementary Planning Document: 2009. "Council bosses said that they would not occupy the new office buildings which would be offered to private sector companies including solicitors and national food chains." LT: December 2011. The bus interchange is to be funded "from the major scheme bid funding awarded by the DfT for Pennine Reach" - Regeneration case, Pennine Reach 2011. "The project is part funded by the HCA. European Regional Development Fund and a loan awarded to Maple Grove by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership from the government's Growing Places Fund." HCA Website 2013. Once again, it only takes a few minutes with google to find this stuff out. s_smith
  • Score: 4

11:44am Sat 14 Jun 14

s_smith says...

The problem with Blackburn is that change always seems painful for you guys. As a genetic "southerner", even though I'm a card carrying bus-pass holder and have lived here for nearly 30 years now near enough, I have seen the potential of this place get better.

Although it has suffered primarily because of a lack of vision by the elected members in-fighting and short-termism and of course the poor economic and employment diversity.

I remember this town when I first moved here and I can tell you now:

> Church St is better being left pedestrians only. It was awful as a main road and it looked terrible.

> The Boulevard "bus station" was a collection of windswept toilets. The changes in the 90's just made them more open-viewing windswept toilets.

> The old market was a truly horrific place. Some great stalls but hardly an inviting shopping destination. I do agree though that the *layout* of the new market is bad, but the physical environment is a lot nicer.

Blackburn is a town which was very industrialised and has had to make difficult changes on it own in the last 50 years. It is not an economic power-house and the elected leadership have done A LOT of damage to this town by not being brave enough to make difficult decisions and putting their political careers first.

What we have is a generic small-town central area which offers little real choice, still looks run-down and a mish-mash of architecture, none of which is really complimentary or contrasting.

Sadly, the politicians here all seem to get wound up by little things and fail to see the bigger picture. I challenge anyone to go to a council meeting and see just what these people are like. It is quite often truly pathetic and childish.
The problem with Blackburn is that change always seems painful for you guys. As a genetic "southerner", even though I'm a card carrying bus-pass holder and have lived here for nearly 30 years now near enough, I have seen the potential of this place get better. Although it has suffered primarily because of a lack of vision by the elected members in-fighting and short-termism and of course the poor economic and employment diversity. I remember this town when I first moved here and I can tell you now: > Church St is better being left pedestrians only. It was awful as a main road and it looked terrible. > The Boulevard "bus station" was a collection of windswept toilets. The changes in the 90's just made them more open-viewing windswept toilets. > The old market was a truly horrific place. Some great stalls but hardly an inviting shopping destination. I do agree though that the *layout* of the new market is bad, but the physical environment is a lot nicer. Blackburn is a town which was very industrialised and has had to make difficult changes on it own in the last 50 years. It is not an economic power-house and the elected leadership have done A LOT of damage to this town by not being brave enough to make difficult decisions and putting their political careers first. What we have is a generic small-town central area which offers little real choice, still looks run-down and a mish-mash of architecture, none of which is really complimentary or contrasting. Sadly, the politicians here all seem to get wound up by little things and fail to see the bigger picture. I challenge anyone to go to a council meeting and see just what these people are like. It is quite often truly pathetic and childish. s_smith
  • Score: 18

1:06pm Sat 14 Jun 14

cathedral citi says...

My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment)

This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing.

I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed.

so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town!
My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment) This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing. I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed. so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town! cathedral citi
  • Score: -2

1:33pm Sat 14 Jun 14

s_smith says...

cathedral citi wrote:
My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment)

This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing.

I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed.

so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town!
Quite so. There are far too many negative comments about what is being done to improve the town... yet few alternatives are offered.

I, like you, look forward to seeing it all completed.
[quote][p][bold]cathedral citi[/bold] wrote: My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment) This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing. I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed. so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town![/p][/quote]Quite so. There are far too many negative comments about what is being done to improve the town... yet few alternatives are offered. I, like you, look forward to seeing it all completed. s_smith
  • Score: -2

5:55pm Sat 14 Jun 14

woolywords says...

cathedral citi wrote:
My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment)

This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing.

I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed.

so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town!
If holding a different opinion to yours is to be a 'moaning minnie', then so be it but let me set my stall out, as I see it, before you throw your hands up, in disgust.
Millions spent on the The Mall, which was much needed but what happened?
There was an huge downturn in the economy, the landlords were expecting too much in rents and as a result, many of the brand names left or won't take up a shop.
Of course, we were all told that, 'footfall is increasing', which didn't take into account that a lot of students, were wandering around and around, without spending a penny, to keep warm, while the college was closed for lunch.
Then when the bus station moved, 'footfall was increasing', as it's a shortcut to the bus.
The old market was past it's sell-by date and needed modernisation, which could have been done, by demolishing just half of it but instead, they decided that there would be sufficient space in the new building, which there patently isn't. Lots of local businesses, of long standing, either closed or moved elsewhere.
Then there is this restaurant thing that you mention... I love to eat out and have a broad canvass of menus to choose from, with no particular favourites. However, in the last 10 years, many of my favourite eateries have gone or changed hands, going down market. The Italian and Cantonese restaurants on Preston New Road went downhill, changed hands and have got worse. The City Buffet, in the old Borough pub, has done the same. The pizza restaurant, around the corner from the old cinema, has done the same.
You cannot get haute cuisine in this town, for love nor money, you have to go out of town. Pub grub, is the same, where once they had a 'chef', they now have 'ding' dinners, in many places. Oh, some will pretend that they have it but they don't. One trip to Northcote Manor will expose that lie, when compared to that faux fine eatery on Livesey Branch Road, who only put the prices up, to keep the riff-raff out. Over £20, for a bottle of wine, that sells in ASDA for a third of the price exposes their mind-set.
The Cathedral quarter will, I assure you, be a mate to the 'White Elephant' that was 'Grimshaws Folly' and remain empty for longer than it took to build.
There has been an huge contraction in investment in this town over the past 10 years but Councillors would have us believe, that we are living some kind of boom town, far from it, as even Kebab shops close on Darwen St. After all, if you cannot make money in a late night takeaway, where can you make it? This is why there has been a proliferation of the Shisha establishment, to get that extra pound, in absolute desperation.
Much as I hate to be the Cassandra of this town, with my portents of doom and gloom, the sad reality is, there aren't the people with spare cash, to spend on lavish treats like restaurants now. There will be treats of birthdays, anniversaries and the like, not like it used to be, a regular, for no reason, occurrence.
It is fortunate, that the Cathedral has such large coffers, to tide it over this period, where many an other would fail.
I welcome new developments, as it adds vibrancy to the town but there just aren't that many of us, with spare cash and the best will in the world, to keep them all going.
[quote][p][bold]cathedral citi[/bold] wrote: My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment) This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing. I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed. so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town![/p][/quote]If holding a different opinion to yours is to be a 'moaning minnie', then so be it but let me set my stall out, as I see it, before you throw your hands up, in disgust. Millions spent on the The Mall, which was much needed but what happened? There was an huge downturn in the economy, the landlords were expecting too much in rents and as a result, many of the brand names left or won't take up a shop. Of course, we were all told that, 'footfall is increasing', which didn't take into account that a lot of students, were wandering around and around, without spending a penny, to keep warm, while the college was closed for lunch. Then when the bus station moved, 'footfall was increasing', as it's a shortcut to the bus. The old market was past it's sell-by date and needed modernisation, which could have been done, by demolishing just half of it but instead, they decided that there would be sufficient space in the new building, which there patently isn't. Lots of local businesses, of long standing, either closed or moved elsewhere. Then there is this restaurant thing that you mention... I love to eat out and have a broad canvass of menus to choose from, with no particular favourites. However, in the last 10 years, many of my favourite eateries have gone or changed hands, going down market. The Italian and Cantonese restaurants on Preston New Road went downhill, changed hands and have got worse. The City Buffet, in the old Borough pub, has done the same. The pizza restaurant, around the corner from the old cinema, has done the same. You cannot get haute cuisine in this town, for love nor money, you have to go out of town. Pub grub, is the same, where once they had a 'chef', they now have 'ding' dinners, in many places. Oh, some will pretend that they have it but they don't. One trip to Northcote Manor will expose that lie, when compared to that faux fine eatery on Livesey Branch Road, who only put the prices up, to keep the riff-raff out. Over £20, for a bottle of wine, that sells in ASDA for a third of the price exposes their mind-set. The Cathedral quarter will, I assure you, be a mate to the 'White Elephant' that was 'Grimshaws Folly' and remain empty for longer than it took to build. There has been an huge contraction in investment in this town over the past 10 years but Councillors would have us believe, that we are living some kind of boom town, far from it, as even Kebab shops close on Darwen St. After all, if you cannot make money in a late night takeaway, where can you make it? This is why there has been a proliferation of the Shisha establishment, to get that extra pound, in absolute desperation. Much as I hate to be the Cassandra of this town, with my portents of doom and gloom, the sad reality is, there aren't the people with spare cash, to spend on lavish treats like restaurants now. There will be treats of birthdays, anniversaries and the like, not like it used to be, a regular, for no reason, occurrence. It is fortunate, that the Cathedral has such large coffers, to tide it over this period, where many an other would fail. I welcome new developments, as it adds vibrancy to the town but there just aren't that many of us, with spare cash and the best will in the world, to keep them all going. woolywords
  • Score: 12

11:44pm Sat 14 Jun 14

MerlinTheVoiceofReason2 says...

woolywords wrote:
cathedral citi wrote:
My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment)

This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing.

I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed.

so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town!
If holding a different opinion to yours is to be a 'moaning minnie', then so be it but let me set my stall out, as I see it, before you throw your hands up, in disgust.
Millions spent on the The Mall, which was much needed but what happened?
There was an huge downturn in the economy, the landlords were expecting too much in rents and as a result, many of the brand names left or won't take up a shop.
Of course, we were all told that, 'footfall is increasing', which didn't take into account that a lot of students, were wandering around and around, without spending a penny, to keep warm, while the college was closed for lunch.
Then when the bus station moved, 'footfall was increasing', as it's a shortcut to the bus.
The old market was past it's sell-by date and needed modernisation, which could have been done, by demolishing just half of it but instead, they decided that there would be sufficient space in the new building, which there patently isn't. Lots of local businesses, of long standing, either closed or moved elsewhere.
Then there is this restaurant thing that you mention... I love to eat out and have a broad canvass of menus to choose from, with no particular favourites. However, in the last 10 years, many of my favourite eateries have gone or changed hands, going down market. The Italian and Cantonese restaurants on Preston New Road went downhill, changed hands and have got worse. The City Buffet, in the old Borough pub, has done the same. The pizza restaurant, around the corner from the old cinema, has done the same.
You cannot get haute cuisine in this town, for love nor money, you have to go out of town. Pub grub, is the same, where once they had a 'chef', they now have 'ding' dinners, in many places. Oh, some will pretend that they have it but they don't. One trip to Northcote Manor will expose that lie, when compared to that faux fine eatery on Livesey Branch Road, who only put the prices up, to keep the riff-raff out. Over £20, for a bottle of wine, that sells in ASDA for a third of the price exposes their mind-set.
The Cathedral quarter will, I assure you, be a mate to the 'White Elephant' that was 'Grimshaws Folly' and remain empty for longer than it took to build.
There has been an huge contraction in investment in this town over the past 10 years but Councillors would have us believe, that we are living some kind of boom town, far from it, as even Kebab shops close on Darwen St. After all, if you cannot make money in a late night takeaway, where can you make it? This is why there has been a proliferation of the Shisha establishment, to get that extra pound, in absolute desperation.
Much as I hate to be the Cassandra of this town, with my portents of doom and gloom, the sad reality is, there aren't the people with spare cash, to spend on lavish treats like restaurants now. There will be treats of birthdays, anniversaries and the like, not like it used to be, a regular, for no reason, occurrence.
It is fortunate, that the Cathedral has such large coffers, to tide it over this period, where many an other would fail.
I welcome new developments, as it adds vibrancy to the town but there just aren't that many of us, with spare cash and the best will in the world, to keep them all going.
What a load of tripe. You should open a stall selling it on Blackburn Market.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]cathedral citi[/bold] wrote: My goodness! some truly moaning minnies on here! I think the new cathedral quarter will be a fantastic addition to the central shopping area, and will breathe new life into this part of the town centre. As well as creating hundreds of jobs, it will also form an 'oasis' with a choice of restaurants (which Blackburn is seriously lacking at the moment) This is a welcome addition, and not being funded solely out of the public purse, as some of you have mentioned, but by grants and private financial backing. I have seen the plans of the end result, and all I can say is 'wow'.......it's going to be impressive when completed. so stop moaning, you silly beggars, and support your town![/p][/quote]If holding a different opinion to yours is to be a 'moaning minnie', then so be it but let me set my stall out, as I see it, before you throw your hands up, in disgust. Millions spent on the The Mall, which was much needed but what happened? There was an huge downturn in the economy, the landlords were expecting too much in rents and as a result, many of the brand names left or won't take up a shop. Of course, we were all told that, 'footfall is increasing', which didn't take into account that a lot of students, were wandering around and around, without spending a penny, to keep warm, while the college was closed for lunch. Then when the bus station moved, 'footfall was increasing', as it's a shortcut to the bus. The old market was past it's sell-by date and needed modernisation, which could have been done, by demolishing just half of it but instead, they decided that there would be sufficient space in the new building, which there patently isn't. Lots of local businesses, of long standing, either closed or moved elsewhere. Then there is this restaurant thing that you mention... I love to eat out and have a broad canvass of menus to choose from, with no particular favourites. However, in the last 10 years, many of my favourite eateries have gone or changed hands, going down market. The Italian and Cantonese restaurants on Preston New Road went downhill, changed hands and have got worse. The City Buffet, in the old Borough pub, has done the same. The pizza restaurant, around the corner from the old cinema, has done the same. You cannot get haute cuisine in this town, for love nor money, you have to go out of town. Pub grub, is the same, where once they had a 'chef', they now have 'ding' dinners, in many places. Oh, some will pretend that they have it but they don't. One trip to Northcote Manor will expose that lie, when compared to that faux fine eatery on Livesey Branch Road, who only put the prices up, to keep the riff-raff out. Over £20, for a bottle of wine, that sells in ASDA for a third of the price exposes their mind-set. The Cathedral quarter will, I assure you, be a mate to the 'White Elephant' that was 'Grimshaws Folly' and remain empty for longer than it took to build. There has been an huge contraction in investment in this town over the past 10 years but Councillors would have us believe, that we are living some kind of boom town, far from it, as even Kebab shops close on Darwen St. After all, if you cannot make money in a late night takeaway, where can you make it? This is why there has been a proliferation of the Shisha establishment, to get that extra pound, in absolute desperation. Much as I hate to be the Cassandra of this town, with my portents of doom and gloom, the sad reality is, there aren't the people with spare cash, to spend on lavish treats like restaurants now. There will be treats of birthdays, anniversaries and the like, not like it used to be, a regular, for no reason, occurrence. It is fortunate, that the Cathedral has such large coffers, to tide it over this period, where many an other would fail. I welcome new developments, as it adds vibrancy to the town but there just aren't that many of us, with spare cash and the best will in the world, to keep them all going.[/p][/quote]What a load of tripe. You should open a stall selling it on Blackburn Market. MerlinTheVoiceofReason2
  • Score: -15

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