A SERVICE station giant plans to create 300 jobs in Blackburn by building its European headquarters to the town.

Euro Garages has lodged plans to build a three-storey office block and two drive through restaurants in Haslingden Road.

The proposals, close to the hospital and firm's existing base, includes enough parking spaces for 349 cars, 26 bicycles and 17 disabled spaces.

If given the green light, the proposed plans would create 260 full-time and 40 part-time employee positions.

Community leaders said the 'incredible' plans were 'a huge boost of confidence' in Blackburn.

The drive through restaurants will be built parallel to the office block with road and pedestrian access.

Euro Garages, founded by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa in 2001, started with a single petrol filling station in Bury and now has more than 330 sites across the UK.

Cllr Phil Riley, head of regeneration on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said the plans were a massive boost for the town.

He said: "The office is for Euro Garages European headquarters. We are absolutely delighted they have chosen to build in the borough.

"They are a huge business, not just in the town but across the country.

"It is encouraging they want to put their headquarters in Blackburn.

"They are advancing across Europe and it is a good story for everyone here."

In recent years the firm has established itself as one of the Britain’s fastest-growing businesses building high-profile partnerships with Spar, Subway, Starbucks, Greggs, Burger King, Little Chef and Sainsbury's.

Khalid Saifullah, chairman of the Blackburn and Darwen Hive Ambassadors Network, said: "It is absolutely incredible news for our town.

"I want to see the business grow from strength to strength and continue to see its influence in the town.

"It shows a lot of confidence from its owners who were made in Blackburn - they grew up around here.

"Euro Garages is one of the country's biggest success stories.

"They had the chance to set up their international base in Manchester or London but it shows they have faith in East Lancashire, which gives the town a huge boost of confidence."

The site is vacant and is known to be used by dog walkers and commuters as a short-cut to Haslingden Road.

A path exists west of the stone walled boundary to the Fishmoor Reservoir.

Within a planning document, a spokesman on behalf of Euro Garages, said: "The site will act as additional office accommodation for the applicants growing company.

"The positioning of the main office building also allows for the maximisation of parking areas, while offering glimpses of the reservoir on approach down either side of the building.

"The main expanse of parking also offers uninterrupted views of the reservoir to visitors arriving by car.

"The use of more modern materials are used to express the progressive business use of the building, while maintaining colour tones in keeping with the surrounding areas.

"The appearance of the drive through units are designed with maintaining a ‘site theme’ in mind, utilising the dry stone wall concept of the office building, which relates to the adjacent stone wall, detailing of the existing eastern boundary to which the units confront."