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New plans for shelved Blackburn 'medi-park' site
NEW life could be breathed into an empty 10-acre site next to Royal Blackburn Hospital, once earmarked for a hi-tech medical park.
In October, the borough council admitted its ambitious plans for a £25million science park, creating 1,000 jobs, next to the health complex in Guide would never become reality.
It decided to put almost 10 acres, of the 13.6 acres originally intended for the Medi-Knowledge Park between Shadsworth Road and Haslingden Road, back on the market.
Now an ‘organisation’, believed to be connected to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, has asked to be given a three-year option to develop the remainder of the site for medical-related purposes.
Thwaites brewery was offered the site by Blackburn with Darwen Council as a possible new location for beer-making operations following its decision to move from the Star Brewery site but the deal never came to fruition.
Now the organisation has asked for ‘special purchaser’ status to prepare a full development brief for the site.
Council resources chief Andy Kay said: “I am pleased a major organisation has displayed an interest in this key site and it could be developed for its original medical and science related purposes.
“Hopefully, it will create jobs for the borough.”
East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Damms said: “I am delighted that there is an interest in this vital site which could lead to jobs for local people.
“What we need in East Lancashire is investment and jobs.”
Just 3.8 acres were developed, before the property crash in 2008, for offices including those now occupied by Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group and the Lancashire Care NHS mental health trust.
On Thursday, the borough’s executive board is expected to approve the ‘special purchaser’ status for the unnamed organisation ‘by virtue of their adjacent land ownership and the wide community health and well being that the proposed development brings to the borough’.
Neither Blackburn with Darwen Council nor the East Lancashire NHS Hospitals Trust would confirm any details of the organisation or its plans for the site.
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