THE former Brierfield Mills site has welcomed Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) as its first centre since it began its £32million conversion into Northlight.

Business leaders who have helped to finance the new £1.75million centre were given a behind the scenes tour yesterday before its official opening in October.

The new LAL Centre will support 22,000 adult learners in Lancashire across 120 venues in the county.

County Hall is providing a total of £2.15million for Northlight, including improved access from the M65 and re-developing part of the canalside for leisure.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council and also chairs Pendle Enterprise And Regeneration (PEARL), said: “I’m delighted this fantastic facility has found a new home in Pendle in the beautiful Victorian office buildings of our iconic mill.

“It’s fantastic to see Northlight taking shape to create a new learning, living, working, leisure and cultural destination for the North West.”

Tim Webber, managing director of developer Barnfield and a PEARL board member, announced the next new developments for Northlight at the preview as work continues on the rest of the site to transform the whole complex.

This will include a residential planning submission for 52 apartments.

He said: “As Pendle developers with our HQ within sight of Northlight, it’s been a labour of love for us and we’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved so far.

“It’s full speed ahead with Burnley FC in the Community which opens fantastic facilities here in the spring and In-Situ opening their innovative garage site as an arts and culture hub.”

Graham Cowley, Chair of the LEP Growth Deal Management Board said: “Brierfield Mill is gradually being transformed into a thriving hub of education, leisure and residential services, which will benefit the whole of the local community.

“It’s a great example of how the Lancashire Growth Deal can help unlock investment and drive regeneration.”