Future of Thwaites Blackburn town centre site still uncertain

The main Thwaites plant in Blackburn

The main Thwaites plant in Blackburn

First published in News

THE future of Thwaites’ Star Brewery site in the centre of Blackburn remains uncertain after yesterday’s announcement.

Chief executive Rick Bailey admitted there were no plans for the 7.4 acres after the borough council sank their proposal to bring a Sainsbury’s superstore there.

He held out an olive branch to the town hall saying he hoped to co-operate with their plans to redevelop the town centre around the £33million Cathedral Quarter, Mr Bailey did confirm the stables for the famous brewery dray horses and their three staff would remain in Eanam Wharf for the immediate future. He also revealed that the existing pair of Shires ‘Bomber’ and ‘Wainwright’ had a new friend, ‘Jack’. The three-year-old joined them two weeks ago.

Mr Bailey said: “We do not have any plans for our existing site, as we have not been able to deliver on our plan to bring Sainsbury’s into Blackburn. However we continue to believe that a redevelopment of the site presents an exciting opportunity for Blackburn town centre, which is already being regenerated.

“We will be looking to find partners who can help us to realise that opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Blackburn with Darwen Council is in talks with a number of retailers for the former covered market, earmarked for Sainsbury’s before Thwaites trumped them in 2011.

Now talks have resumed between the two to find complementary projects.

Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “We would have preferred Thwaites new brewery to have been in the borough but we now need to work together.”

The Shadsworth distribution depot will remain in the short to medium term, unaffected by the changes.

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