The developer is drawing up proposals that would see the existing Morrisons supermarket demolished and a new 30,000 square foot replacement built on the site of the former Thwaites Brewery.
The supermarket’s move to the former brewery site will be the first part of Maple Grove Developments’ £250million masterplan for Blackburn town centre.
A planning application for this element of the wider master plan is expected before the end of the year after the developer has submitted an EIA scoping application to the local council.
Daniel Thwaites & Co left the Blackburn site in 2018 and moved to purpose-built premises at Mellor Brook in the Ribble Valley.
By demolishing Morrisons, which was built in the 1980s, Maple Grove will free up the site for residential development of up to 500 homes in a future phase.
The adjoining multi-storey car park will be redeveloped and operated by the council.
The 10-year master plan, drawn up by BDP, also includes a five-building retail district on the former site of the markets, on the opposite side of Penny Street from the old brewery.
Covering 12 acres, the downtown vision also includes plans to restore the fire-destroyed St. John’s Church before converting it into a flexible workspace, and the renovation and reopening of The Fleece Inn.
Maple Grove, the development arm of Eric Wright Group, entered into a joint venture with Blackburn with Darwen Council in 2021 to deliver the master plan.
The town center vision could also benefit from a share of a £40million leveling fund bid submitted earlier this year, but is only part of a wider regeneration strategy being carried out by the council.
“We are moving £1 billion of strategic frameworks to significantly drive the growth of our borough,” said Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn’s leader with Darwen Council.
“The £250m Blackburn Town Center Masterplan forms part of our wider Blackburn growth axis, which presents major development opportunities while taking advantage of key opportunities nearby, including around the National Headquarters. of the Government Cyber Force and the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone.”
The project the authority is carrying out in partnership with Maple Grove is “considered the largest downtown development of its kind in the Northwest,” Riley said.
“There is real momentum around growth in the borough as we work towards Blackburn, with Darwen being one of the most important economic centers in the area.”