FASHION company Boohoo has announced major plans to expand into new buildings.

The online retailer has said it will be working with several Burnley firms to work on transforming old industrial units on Widow Hill Road.

Boohoo has also pledged to prioritise the use of local suppliers in an effort to breathe some much-needed life into the local economy.

Head of logistics Paul Corrigan said: “Boohoo is a major UK success story, having been founded in 2006 and growing into the business it is today.

“We needed to expand and relocate our global distribution centre and Burnley was the perfect location for that.

“There were plenty of reasons why we chose Burnley.

“The Heasandford Industrial Estate, where we are based, had plenty of potential for expansion. Ease of distribution is key and the borough sits in the heart of the UK, whilst it also provides a skilled and varied workforce.”

Local companies that Boohoo will be working alongside include LPK Facilities Management, Barnfield Construction, Quest Electrical, Scott Dawson Advertising, Yesss Electrical and Simply Classic.

Mr Corrigan said: “Our purchasing decisions are made with a local first outlook.

“At peak times, we have 2,500 staff on site, so catering was a very important tendering decision.

“We chose the local supplier Simply Classic, who themselves use local suppliers, keeping the local economy strong for our workforce.

“They were able to respond to initiatives we required, such as providing free packed lunches to our employees on site throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We also invest in and develop our workforce.

He added: “We employ and train apprentices through Burnley College, notably in our engineering department, this gives our workforce longevity and talent for the future.”

This comes amid a company pledge to reform its operations following a review into pay and working conditions in Boohoo’s supply chain carried out by Alison Levitt QC last year.

Meanwhile, the company has pledged that every employee in Burnley earns 'significantly' above the national living wage and unless a worker specifically requests one, there are no zero-hours contracts in place.

Several local companies also say they are looking forward to playing their parts in the expansion.

LPK Facilities managing director Liam Kilbride said: “I’m really proud that LPK are involved in bringing these buildings back to life.

“There’s really been a concerted effort by Boohoo to use local contractors where possible, many of whom have grown alongside Boohoo’s expansion, the contribution to the local economy is fantastic and really is something that should be celebrated.”