THE £26million regeneration of a town centre has taken a major step forward with the submission of the planning application for its first phase.

Maple Grove Developments has also provided new images of how Burnley's Pioneer Place leisure and retail development in Burnley will look.

The firm plans to be on site late next year with key elements of the scheme finished by summer 2022.

The firm has submitted the planning blueprint for the first £18m stage of the scheme on Curzon Street to the borough council with the design and images of the new Reel Cinema at its heart.

The application for the second £8m phase on Manchester Road is currently being worked up for submission to Burnley Council's planners.

Designed by AEW Architects, Pioneer Place will be anchored by the eight-screen Reel Cinema which will relocate from its existing site on Manchester Road.

In addition to the cinema, the Curzon Street scheme will include restaurants, bars, shops, a public plaza and a 125 space car park.

Nik Puttnam senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments said: “This planning application marks another significant milestone in the project and the ongoing regeneration of Burnley town centre.

“With the development agreement signed and Reel Cinema committed to the scheme, we are now in a position to move forward with planning and marketing the site. The aim is to start construction on the Curzon Street site in late 2020 with the cinema being open for business in early Summer 2022.”

Leader of Burnley Council Cllr Charlie Briggs said: “Pioneer Place is an important and exciting development for the town.

"More than eight million people visited Burnley town centre in 2018, and this scheme will be a further invaluable addition to the town’s overall offer.”

The 28,500 sq ft scheme is being funded by Burnley Borough Council with support from Lancashire County Council.

Maple Grove Developments, part of the Preston-based Eric Wright Group, is being advised by Smith and Love Planning Consultants