Maple Grove Developments and Eric Wright Construction to begin work on Pioneer Place, Burnley

Work is set to start, at the end of January, 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.

It is estimated the construction of Pioneer Place will support around 180 jobs, with a further 100+ 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 Council and Lancashire County Council, the Government’s Getting Building Fund administered by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and fashion company and the borough’s largest employer boohoo.

Burnley Borough Council leader Councillor Afrasiab Anwar said: “It’s fantastic to see this major project get underway. Burnley Borough 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 Borough 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.”

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 redeveloped for occupation by supermarket chain Lidl. The adjoining Star pub will remain unaffected.

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 cinema going 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 boohoo, who have committed £300,000 towards the development, said: “The boohoo group is delighted to help support this exciting project in Burnley which will be a fantastic addition to the town.”

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.

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