DISCOUNT supermarket giants Lidl have earmarked a historic garage site in Blackburn for their second town store.

Blueprints have been drawn up for Fix Auto, formerly known as Gillibrands, which has been trading from the Furthergate Works since 1859.

A public exhibition is being held today at Accrington Road Community Centre to outline the plans.

And a full planning application for the "multi-million pound investment" is expected to be lodged with Blackburn with Darwen Council later this month.

Coun Phil Riley, the council's executive member for regeneration, said: "It will bring more choice to the shoppers of Blackburn. The likes of Lidl and Aldi have an increasing market share and this will be another addition to what is already on offer."

Coun Salim Sidat, who represents Audley and Queen's Park ward, said: "It should be every good for the area, and not just Audley but the Shadsworth area as well.

"There is the potential to create a number of jobs and it will be interesting to see how the site is developed."

The A678 corridor has changed out of all recognition in recent years after becoming part of the £40million Pennine Reach initiative.

Work is still progressing on the new link road, which will represented the final piece of the link road.

Planning agents Rapley have even drawn up an online petition to back the idea.

In their consultation material, Rapleys says: "Lidl propose to develop a new store on the site, which will feature an attractive, single storey glazed frontage to the west, with the car park extending to the north and west of the store.

"The new store will extend to 1,794 square metres, gross internal area, with a net retail sales area of 1,104 square metres.

"The store will feature a dedicated in-store bakery close to the main entrance and customer toilet facilities."

The agents also say it should also provide a boost for suppliers locally.

No employment figures have so far been released by the chain, for their new venture but when their store off Whalley Banks opened, more than 15 years ago, around 20 new posts were created.

A spokesman for Lidl was unavailable for comment last night.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands that the garage, which started out as a blacksmiths and wheelwrights in the mid-19th century, will be looking to relocate elsewhere in the borough.

If eventually approved, the store would be Lidl's sixth in East Lancashire.