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Green light for Northlight! Major plans get the go-ahead 

Published: Wednesday, 6th December 2017

News story on planning permission for Northlight

Architects' impression of Northlight courtyard.

“Our ambitious plans to create a new £32m learning, living, working, leisure and cultural destination for the North West entered an exciting new stage this week,” announced Councillor Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council.

Planning permission has been granted for 52 apartments in the iconic Victorian mill and Northlight residents will also have hidden basement parking .

Office spaces for businesses and organisations within the Grade II listed mill, which was built in 1838 alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, also got the go ahead.

And plans to develop a range of eating and drinking businesses within the former Brierfield Mill complex were approved,too.

Planning permission was granted at the Brierfield and Reedley Committee on Tuesday 5th December 2017.

“This will make our Grade II listed mill a great place to work, live and visit and will create hundreds of jobs,” stated Councillor Iqbal who leads on economic development for Pendle.

Councillor Naeem Ashraf, who chairs the Brierfield and Reedley Area Committee where  planning permission for the exciting plans was approved, said:

“We support the transformation of Brierfield Mill into Northlight – this redevelopment is vitally important for our area.”

Pendle Enterprise And Regeneration Ltd (PEARL) is the joint venture company of Pendle Council and Barnfield Investment Properties which owns Northlight. 

More information on Northlight is available on the new website and photographs of the heritage mill and architects’ impressions of Northlight can be seen via

 “It’s fantastic for Pendle to get the green light for this important next stage in the transformation of Northlight said Councillor Iqbal who is the chairman of PEARL.

Tim Webber is Managing Director of Barnfield and a PEARL board member.  He said:

“As Pendle developers with our HQ within sight of Northlight, working to transform this historic landmark has been a labour of love for us. 

“We’re immensely proud of the work we’ve done to sensitively convert the historic office buildings to create the new Lancashire Adult Learning.
“And we’re working at full speed ahead to develop excellent sport facilities for Burnley FC in the Community which will open at Northlight in the spring.

“Brierfield’s arts organisation In-Situ will open their innovative garage site in the spring as an arts and culture hub for Pendle,” he added.
“These are very exciting times for Northlight,” he stated.

The development of Northlight has been made possible thanks to a range of funding including £4.2m from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal Funding, £2.15m from Lancashire County Council and £1.5m from Pendle Council.

Councillor Iqbal added:
“We’ve bought properties on Clitheroe Road adjoining Northlight, including the derelict Railway Tavern, a garage and car sales business through Compulsory Purchase.  

“All these properties will now be demolished to provide an attractive landscaped car park for Northlight,” he explained.

“People have been asking why there’s been a delay, but we need to wait for the utility companies to disconnect the services.

“Once that’s done PEARL can arrange to get the buildings safely demolished and we’ve lined up a demolition contractor to start work.

“The demolition will really help to open up views of the mill from Railway Street and will be another exciting step forward!”

History & background

Brierfield Mill was one of the first steam powered cotton spinning mills in the area and in 1890, the mill clattered to the sound of 2,213 looms and 91,000 spindles.  At its prime in 1948 the company owned nearly 80,000 mule spindles in two spinning mills and had 2,800 looms in four weaving sheds.

In 1957 Smith and nephew Textiles Ltd bought the mill for the manufacture of surgical bandages.   In 2001 the company merged with the German company Beiersdorf AG trading under the name BSN Medical – the only one of its kind in the UK, weaving for the medical industry with stringent regulations.

Brierfield Mill closed in 2007 and this iconic landmark became one of English Heritage’s Listed Buildings at Risk.
It lay empty for five years, having been sold to a private organisation for possible use as a school, but it was not put into use.

Pendle Council successfully negotiated to buy the historic mill for £1.5 million in March 2012 thanks to a 100% grant from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency. The mill complex was then transferred to PEARL – Pendle Enterprise and Regeneration (Brierfield Mill) Ltd under an agreement to secure funding and transform the complex.