Work is set to start later this month (Monday 24th) on the much-anticipated multi-million pound Pioneer Place leisure complex that will transform part of Burnley town centre.
The £23 million scheme, which will include a seven-screen cinema and five retail and leisure units plus a 226-space car park, is set to be completed in late summer 2023 and opened in the autumn of that year.
The multi-screen cinema will be operated by REEL Cinemas which will continue to operate from its current site in Manchester Road, Burnley, until it moves to Pioneer Place. The Manchester Road site will then be re-developed for occupation by supermarket chain Lidl. The adjoining Star pub will remain unaffected.
It is estimated the construction of Pioneer Place will support around 180 jobs, with a further 100-plus new jobs being created in the cinema and supporting food outlets.
The work will be carried out by the council’s development partner Maple Grove Developments, part of the Eric Wright Group.
Pioneer Place has secured funding from Burnley borough and Lancashire county councils, the Government’s Getting Building Fund administered by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP)., and fashion company and the borough’s largest employer boohoo.
Burnley Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar said: “It’s fantastic to see this major project get under way. Burnley Council has been determined to forge ahead with this exciting and ambitious project and now it is becoming a reality.
“Pioneer Place will bring new visitors to Burnley town centre during the day and into the evening, deliver new jobs and support the growth of the rapidly-expanding UCLan campus. It will help diversify what the town centre has to offer to local residents and visitors alike and help boost the local economy.”
Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: “The partnership with Burnley Council has overcome a great number of challenges to reach this point and the project team must be congratulated for their unwavering commitment to the scheme and to the continued regeneration of Burnley town centre.
“With the start of construction now underway our vision to create a leisure quarter which will diversify the evening economy here in Burnley is finally being realised and we look forward to completing the development in early autumn 2023.”
Kailash Suri, managing director of REEL Cinemas, said: “We are delighted that work will be underway shortly on our new REEL Cinema Burnley, and that we will be able to offer our customers old and new a truly outstanding cinemagoing experience, the likes of which is currently unavailable in the town.
“REEL Cinemas prides itself on offering our audience members great customer service, complete comfort and value for money. The new REEL Cinema Burnley will continue to give the local community somewhere to spend quality time with family and friends.”
John Lyttle, CEO of the boohoo group, which has invested in the project, said: “As a long-standing support of Burnley, which has been home to our international distribution centre for over a decade, we are delighted to see the launch of this exciting project, which will enhance the area for the local community, including thousands of our own team who live locally.
"The council has fought hard to ensure this project comes to life and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition."
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said: “The Pioneer Place development will add a new dimension to the town centre. It will bring further private investment into our borough and provide residents with an attractive retail and leisure offering, completely regenerating the area towards Standish Street.”
County Councillor Aidy Riggott, LCC’s cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "Pioneer Place is an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of Burnley.
"It’s also an important project for Lancashire, which is why the county council has contributed £3m towards the project.
"Pioneer Place will bring significant regeneration to part of the town centre and is an exciting prospect not just for the people of Burnley but for the whole of Lancashire.
"It will also create hundreds of jobs, which will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy as it recovers from the pandemic."
Pioneer Place forms part of a wider town centre masterplan to attract millions of pounds of investment into boosting Burnley town centre. It follows recent investment in improvements to the town centre, the creation of a Heritage Action Zone, and the council’s purchase of Charter Walk shopping centre to help secure its future.
Hoardings will be erected around the Curzon Street site ahead of preparation works for the cinema and associated restaurants and retail units.
The Pioneer public car park will be temporarily closed from Monday (24th) for up to 14 weeks to allow initial works to be carried out before re-opening to the public. Alternative parking arrangements are available at neighbouring Millennium multi-storey car park and at other Burnley Council-owned car parks around the town centre.
A map of town centre council-run car parks is available here
The town centre, including businesses adjacent to the site, will remain open as normal throughout construction.