FIRMS looking to move into the Ribble Valley should have more room to manoeuvre after a major business park extension was backed by council bosses.

Planning officers at Ribble Valley Council have given the green light to extend the Manor Court rural business centre near Ribchester.

The premises, in the grounds of Salesbury Hall Farm, are owned by the Mustoe family and were opened by former Blackburn Rovers manager, Sam Allardyce.

Colin Mustoe is the chairman of the family furniture firm Senator International, a major employer in Hyndburn with a 1,000 strong workforce at its Altham Business park premises.

The business centre, which sits in grounds previously used for the Royal Lancashire show, currently comprises 13 office suites.

Now plans have been approved for 20 new offices in a former agricultural building to be let to various businesses.

Mr Mustoe, said: “These will be environmentally friendly offices that will attract new businesses to the area.

“We hope the smaller units will appeal to new ventures and start-ups.”

Work has already started on the units and a completion date is set for in March.

A statement in the application said: “The application responds to the success of the existing scheme, now fully occupied by a variety of businesses, supporting the rural economy whilst at the same time providing rural employment.

“Additionally, the scheme demonstrates the opportunity presented by redundant agricultural buildings to have a continued role, albeit for a different use.”

The car park at the site will also be extended with a further 36 spaces added to the current 49.

Earlier this year the furniture company built an 80,000 square foot extension including a new warehouse, recycling facilities, workshops and a canteen at their Hyndburn premises.

The firm undertook the work after it won a £3.5million contract to provide seating to furnish a Saudi Arabian university.

But in August the firm announced a sharp reduction in its profits.

The financial results for 2010 show pre-tax profits of £552,000, down from £2million for the previous 12 months.

Mr Mustoe said: “We have to look to the future and plan for the long term and invest.”