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Blackburn town centre to be transformed

Blackburn town centre to be transformed
Blackburn town centre is set to undergo a major transformation after revised plans to revamp the Lancashire area were submitted.

Maple Grove Developments, along with Blackburn Cathedral, have lodged a joint planning application that will see the town receive a major boost as well as being able to stimulate job growth. Proposals include the creation of a hotel, restaurants, office space and clergy space along with a brand new bus interchange, allowing Blackburn to provide better transport links to the surrounding area. It will also look to boost tourism opportunities as the town will become more accessible for those wanting to visit from further.

The 118,000 sq ft Cathedral Quarter plans will help to incorporate the area's iconic structure into the Lancashire better as it will become the focal point of the new development. Officials have stated that, if approved, the development will cost £25 million to complete and will help to put Blackburn on the map in terms of tourism.

Planners are expecting to receive an answer on the proposals from the council by November and also said that they should name a national hotel chain to take on the 60-room facility prior to the final decision.

Andrew Dewhurst, director of Maple Grove Developments, said: "The lodging of the planning application follows years of strong collaboration between the four partners who have enabled this scheme to reach this important stage. We hope that, following granting of the planning application later this year, work will commence on site in 2013 and will be completed by mid-2015."

Blackburn was recently held up in a bad light during BBC's Panorama documentary 'Trouble on the Estate' which profiled the Lancashire town's Shadsworth Estate. The programme featured youth terrorising through the streets, however, residents and councillors in the area have been quick to defend Blackburn and criticised the BBC for deliberately depicting people who lived there to being terrorised by hooded youths.

Councillor Jim Shorrock said: "As someone who has lived in Shadsworth for the past fourteen years, I am horrified. They chose Shadsworth as an easy target."

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Date: 12/09/2012 16:31:00

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