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Michelin site plans could mean 2,000 new jobs for Burnley
A FRESH start for the sprawling former Michelin site in Burnley could generate 2,000 jobs, community leaders hope.
Ambitious proposals for the land at Heasandford centre hinge on a multi-million pound Regional Growth Fund bid for the Homes and Communities Agency land.
But supporters say the cash injection would allow the land to become an advanced manufacturing site for the aerospace and automotive industries.
Earlier this year £1million was set aside for Michelin un-der an earlier RGF round but supporters want to subst-antially improve financial support for the old tyre plant.
Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle has secured support from Business Secretary Vince Cable for the proposals, during a visit to the town. Mr Cable was shown around the Heasandford site by the MP, who believes at the land could become a national leader in the sectors.
The MP also took the Business Secretary on a tour of BCW Engineering, based at the nearby Lancashire Digital Technology Centre, which supplies automotive parts to Aston Martin and Jaguar and is supporting the RGF bid.
Mr Birtwistle said: “Vince Cable said that it was a great site and hopefully we will be able to transform it into an advanced manufacturing centre.”
Trevor Cassie, BCW’s operations director, said: “As far as we are concerned the idea is fantastic — we want it to happen. We are looking to expand and need a 40,000 square foot premises. We are outgrowing our site at Smallshaw and this would be ideal.”
Last year BCW secured a £4million contract for turbo charger components which should see the workforce expand by another quarter to 200.
Elsewhere the company has a third site, behind the Aircelle plant, itself formed on the site of the old tyre factory.
Mike Damms, chief executive of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said his organisation had championed Michelin’s regional significance for some time. He said: “Bringing forward substantial propositions for this site is really welcome.”