BLACKBURN building products firm GAP has been given the go-head for a £10million investment project to create 200 new jobs in the town.

The expansion and new factory on Shadsworth Business Park has been granted planning permission for a 130,000 sq ft state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

It will be close to its existing corporate offices, trade depot and door and window factories.

The fast-growing company, founded in Accrington in 1993 revealed its plans in December 2015.

It aims to double its existing 200-strong workforce at the site on Partnership Way as it extends its nationwide network of 40 depots to 100 branches by the end of 2017.

GAP Ltd, founded by Charles Greensmith and Simon Bird moved the Shadsworth in 1995 with a few dozen workers and now, following final planning approval by Blackburn with Darwen Council, hopes to have 400 there within two years.

The £65million-a-year turnover firm, employing 560 staff nationwide, is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of PVC-U building products including the Rockdoor, Homeline and Homeframe brands

Mr Greensmith said in 2015: “We’re very excited to be able to support the local job market and are delighted to be able to continue investing in the personal and professional growth of our 200 existing Blackburn staff.

“We expect to double the size of the workforce when the new facility comes on stream.”

Cllr Riley said: “GAP are a fast expanding company.

"I am very pleased to have them in the borough and very pleased they now have the final go ahead to continue their expansion.”

In 2007 then Blackburn MP Jack Straw opened the firm’s existing 47.000 sq ft central warehouse on Shadsworth business park.

The 130,000 sq ft new building will be next door to creating a huge development.

The new factory will be the most advanced PVC-U window and door manufacturing plant in the UK and underlines GAP’s long-term commitment to supporting the local economy and workforce.

A privately-owned business, GAP already operates a network of 40 trade counters across the UK ranging from Aberdeen to Enfield.

It plans to expand and have have 100 depots nationwide by the end of this year.