Multi-million pound Levelling Up boost for Burnley

Published on Wed Oct 27 2021

Regeneration plans for Burnley have been given the green light after receiving a multi-million pound boost in the Budget.

The successful bid for almost £20 million of Levelling Up funding means three major schemes to transform the town can go ahead.

Burnley Council worked with the borough's MP Antony Higginbotham to submit the funding bid.

It will see major investment in the further expansion of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), upgrades to Manchester Road railway station and improving links between the town centre and Turf Moor.

Combined, the plan is to connect expanded education facilities at the UClan campus, through the new Pioneer Place development in the town centre and on to Burnley FC to create an economic corridor running directly from one side of the town to the other.

Councillor Afrasiab Anwar, leader of Burnley Council said: “This is great news for Burnley. It follows on from the council’s recent acquisition of Charter Walk, our work on Lower St James’s Street Heritage Action Zone, and our continued work in bringing forward Pioneer Place.”

“The bid was based around three key projects within our Town Centre and Canalside Masterplan and these, along with our other developments, will mean that Burnley town centre can continue to develop, diversify and prosper.

"Having worked closely with our partners in developing the bid, I am so pleased that these projects will now be delivered. I would also like to thank our officers who worked all hours to meet the very tight deadlines for submitting the bid.

“The bid was for nearly £20 million and this further investment will help transform the face of Burnley and make it more attractive to residents, visitors, shoppers and investors.”

The three projects within the bid are:

UCLAN Campus Expansion

Following a master planning exercise to look at how projected growth (4000 students by 2024/5 and 6000 by 2031) could be accommodated over several stages to create a thriving canalside campus, this project will include:

·      The purchase and reconfiguration of Sandygate Mill. 

·      Creation of circa 35,000 square foot of space incorporating a Knowledge Exchange Zone, teaching and social space 

·      New public realm including on the George Street Mill Site to create a spine for future development, and public realm enhancements to Sandygate and Queens Lancashire Way 

·      Servicing and remediation of the George Street Mill site for future phases 

·      Towpath improvements between Westgate and Manchester Road to create improved access to the rail station and integrate the campus with the canal. 

Manchester Road Rail Station Access for All

In recent years Burnley Manchester Road station has been upgraded and a new direct rail service to Manchester opened via the Todmorden Curve.

This project will complete the station masterplan and will increase the overall accessibility of the station to all passengers.

The development will deliver a new footbridge and passenger lifts, creating better connections between both platforms and the main station building, increasing accessibility to a wider range of destinations for a wider range of passengers.

Eastern Gateway, Town to Turf

This project aims to create a gateway between the town centre and Turf Moor, incorporating high quality public realm, a new four-way junction replacing the Yorkshire Street roundabout, cleaning and restoration work to the Culvert, and pavement widening in front of the football club.

The works will complement planned investment in the stadium, including a major facelift to the stadium stretching from the corner of Belverdere Road, including LED lighting and a major investment in the James Hargreaves stand to create a hospitality and conferencing venue.  

The Town Centre Masterplan Public Realm Strategy identifies an east-west axis through the town from Turf Moor to the canalside UCLan campus.  The extension of public realm works along Yorkshire street will create a mile-long promenade connecting the UCLan campus, shopping centre and Turf Moor. 

Pictured: Burnley Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar in Burnley town centre.