Developer sought for Burnley Knowledge Park

By Bridging Loan Directory -

Burnley Borough Council is looking for developers to help bring forward its plan to develop 130,000 sq ft of business park accommodation on a site next to the town’s £84m Knowledge Quarter campus according to BusinessDesk.com.

An outline planning application has just been approved for the scheme, known as Burnley Knowledge Park, and a design guide has been produced for developers interested in competing for the five-acre site, which has been put together following the relocation of a waste transfer site.

Jon Sharples, principal development officer for Burnley Borough Council, said the council had removed three major stumbling blocks to any major development. The site is in the council’s sole ownership, is vacant and now has planning in place for the development.

“We’re now working with Pannone and GVA to prepare the necessary documents for an OJEU procedure,” he said.

Mr Sharples argued that the site’s key selling point is its location. It is immediately adjacent to the Knowledge Campus, which is home to a University of Central Lancashire facility offering courses in fields such as advanced manufacturing, computing, mechanical engineering, law and fashion, among others.
It is also 300m from Junction 11 of the M65 and is a few minutes’ walk from Burnley’s central station.

It is envisaged that many of the Knowledge Park’s tenants will be spin-out companies occupying managed workspace, but there will also be several self-contained units on offer to existing firms from the area looking to take advantage of its location.

A report produced for the council by architects BDP and transport consultancy JMP suggests the Knowledge Park can accommodate around eight buildings, including a 30,000 sq ft enterprise/incubation centre and a 20,990 sq ft feature office building. Six other two- and three-storey standalone office/B1 buildings could also be built alongside a total of 280 parking spaces.

“We would like some of the accommodation to come forward as an enterprise and incubation centre, but obviously we will await the proposals from developers,” he said.

“The major aim of the development is to maximise the economic benefit to the area.”

He said the development, which is being brought forward in conjunction with UCLan and Burnley College, could also be split over a series of different phases.

“We’re looking forward to identifying a suitable developer and working with them,” he said.