A MAJOR £250million Burnley regeneration scheme has been shelved because of the credit crunch.

Developers and council bosses have put the sprawling Weavers’ Triangle project on hold for at least two years after the economic downturn.

It means that a key part of the town’s regeneration ‘masterplan’ - which includes proposals for flats, offices, retail space and a public square - will not be completed until 2014 at the earliest.

The news has been described as a “massive blow” for Burnley, although the town’s council leader has vowed to find alternative ways to keep the project going. Work had been due to start within months.

Coun Martin Smith, Burnley Council’s executive member for regeneration, said the scheme would be on hold until other backers are found to join lead developer Hurstwood.

He said: “There are proposals to get developers involved to kick the scheme off again.

“Given the market situation, it’s a good time to sit back and look at other opportunities.

“Then in two or three years’ time when the property market picks up again we will hopefully have something in place.”

He said town hall chiefs would be in talks with developers in the future but none had been staged so far.

Meanwhile, Hurstwood reaffirmed its commitment to the Weavers’ Triangle, despite two of its construction arms going into administration earlier this year.

Head of special projects Alistair Procter said: “There’s no intention to pull out.”

However, the delay to the scheme has been branded a “massive blow” by Labour group leader Julie Cooper.

She added: “It is not the council’s fault now, because of the credit crunch, but we should never have got into this position.

“We were in a position a few years back but then they dragged their feet and this is the result.”

The Weavers’ Triangle regeneration project has been around for a generation.

However, the latest council ‘masterplan’ - backed by Lancashire County Council, the Northwest Development Agency and others - would see the Gateway, Sandygate, Hammerton and Finsley Gate areas of the town centre renovated.