THE first tenants of a new £1.4m aerospace village in Burnley can be revealed today.
The sprawling former Michelin site at Heasandford is being transformed into a suppliers’ hub.
And the first planning permission has now emerged for the village, from Nelson-based developers Barnfield Construction.
Kaman Tooling, a composites manufacturer with a major presence at India Mills in Darwen, has signed a pre-let agreement for a new 60,000 square feet premises, off Bancroft Road, according to planning permission submissions made on behalf of Barnfield.
It is the first piece of the jigsaw for work on the hub, a joint project involving the borough and Aircelle, supported by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
Just yesterday the government announced a £2billion cash injection for the civil aviation industry, already a major employer across East Lancashire, through the likes of Aircelle and Rolls Royce.
Proposals by architects Campbell Driver Partnership say that the Heasandford development for Kaman will house 40 workers from the tooling division.
The company is better known in East Lancashire as Brookhouse, before it was taken over by Conneticut-based Kaman in 2008.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: “This is great news for Burnley and will be bring more high-skilled jobs to the borough.
“I have seen the plans and it should be one heck of a building.
“And I am sure it is not the only announcement that is coming - this should be the start of something big.”
And Dennis Mendoros, aerospace boss and chairman of Regenerate Pennine Lancashire (RPL), said: “It’s been a very good day for aerospace.
“In this instance Burnley Council has been working very closely with RPL and the Aerospace Alliance in developing a programme which will add value to the supply chain to the area.”
Part of the old Michelin site, vacant for around a decade, was given over to the creation of the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre.
But much of the remainder of the site had been in limbo before RGF funding was confirmed last year.
Progress on the Michelin development follows the announcement last week that work is beginning on the Burnley Bridge business park.