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Work set to begin on creating leisure and learning facilities at Northlight

Published: Monday, 3rd October 2016

Work starting at Northlight

“This week marks a huge step forward for Northlight as we start major work on site!”

That’s the message from Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Chairman of PEARL and Leader of Pendle Council.

Councillor Iqbal, who leads on economic development for Pendle said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that all of the pieces of the jigsaw are coming together and we can now start to transform our vast heritage mill.”

The ambitious £32m project to transform Brierfield Mill into Northlight will create a new living, working, learning, leisure and cultural destination for Lancashire.

Main contractors Barnfield Construction are set to begin work today (Monday 3 October) on the first phase of Burnley FC in the Community’s leisure facility and offices and learning facilities for Lancashire Adult Learning’s new base in Brierfield.

The first phase of work for Burnley FC in the Community includes refurbishing a huge warehouse.

Once all work has been completed, the leisure facilities will include indoor and outdoor pitches, a climbing wall, cricket nets, dance and fitness areas and a play area.

Councillor Iqbal added: “For more than six generations Brierfield Mill, with its unique position looking out to Pendle Hill, has played a significant role in our community.

“This historic complex, which stretches over seven acres, will have new life breathed into it.

“Northlight will significantly contribute to the regeneration of Pendle as well as creating an exciting major new destination for the North West.

“We expect the offices and training facilities for Lancashire Adult Learning and the first phase of the leisure facilities for Burnley FC in the Community to be completed by autumn 2017.

“We will also be starting to create easy access to Northlight from the M65 and work will be getting underway to create new car parking, footways, landscaping and the canal marina.”

The Northlight project is led by PEARL, a joint venture development company established between Pendle Council and Barnfield Investment Properties Ltd.

Tim Webber, Managing Director of Barnfield and a PEARL board member said: “As Pendle based developers and contractors we’re extremely passionate about Northlight. 

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes for many months on developing a scheme that will bring huge benefits to not only the local residents offering brand new leisure facilities, but also in an economic nature for local businesses.

“On the construction front, we've been carrying out a strip out of the first phase areas so that the major transformation work can get underway."

The total cost of Northlight is £31.8m with funding being provided by both the private sector and the public sector.

Pendle Council has committed £1.5m and Lancashire County Council (LCC) has approved funding of £2.15m to support the development.

The £2.15m from LCC includes £1.5m for infrastructure and public realm works, including redeveloping the canal marina for leisure use, as well as £650,000 to support the relocation of Lancashire Adult Learning from its current base in Chorley to Northlight.

Leader of Lancashire County Council, Councillor Jennifer Mein said: "We are delighted to be able to support this exciting project which has the potential to transform the fortunes not just of Brierfield but of the area as a whole.

"Bringing together leisure, residential and educational facilities in this iconic building will create a host of opportunities for people from across Lancashire and beyond and provide a real boost to the economy."

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has allocated £4.2m from its Growth Deal and the Board has approved a further £750,000 of Growth Deal Skills Capital funding towards the cost of relocating Lancashire Adult Learning from Chorley to Northlight.

Graham Cowley, Chair of Lancashire Economic Partnership’s Growth Deal Management Board, said:  “I’m delighted that we are now able to see the transformation of Brierfield Mill into Northlight begin.

“This scheme is a great example of how the LEP is investing funds strategically to support major projects that have a wide ranging impact locally, from supporting jobs and business growth to improving leisure and education opportunities.

“Driving economic growth and regeneration locally though projects like this is a key part of our ambitious strategic programme to fuel economic growth in Lancashire over the next decade."

“We’re very excited to welcome Burnley FC in the Community and Lancashire Adult Learning on site as these two major projects get underway,” added Councillor Iqbal.

Neil Hart Chief Executive Officer of Burnley FC in the Community, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to develop a sustainable leisure and sport facility on the Brierfield Mill site.

"We now have a long term plan to create a unique facility for the region.

“Brierfield Mill is an iconic site steeped in history and we can’t wait to see this project become a reality!

“Once this site has been transformed into a state of the art leisure facility I am absolutely confident we will inspire, support and deliver change for the local community. 

“I’d like to thank all of our partners who have been working to get the project to this point.

“This is evidence that true partnership working can bring about wholesale change for the benefit of local communities."

The new facility for Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) will be run by Nelson and Colne College.

It will support and deliver adult community learning across Lancashire as well as providing a centre in East Lancashire, which has the greatest demand in the county for community learning.

Principal of Lancashire Adult Learning and Nelson and Colne College Amanda Melton said: “We are thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and ambitious project, and are looking forward to LAL’s next chapter at Northlight. 

“Our base will now be at Brierfield, but our provision of courses will remain the same, and we will continue to help adults re-discover a love for learning by running a range of classes across the county. 

“We are here to help adults across Lancashire develop new skills and improve their career prospects, and our staff remain committed to putting learners and their needs at the very heart of LAL.

“We are extremely excited for this next step in LAL’s journey, and are delighted to be joining Burnley FC in the Community in the Autumn of 2017,.

“For anybody interested in joining LAL or finding out more about what we offer, please visit our website at www.lal.ac.uk and download our latest course guide."