Despite a turbulent year filled with uncertainty and monumental change for all types of businesses, the Lancashire industrial market continues to show its strength.

From the views of the experts, it appears the main challenge doesn’t come from the pandemic but from a continuing shortage of land for industrial use.

 chartered surveyors Nolan Redshaw, sums up the situation when he says: “Industrial stock levels across Lancashire have diminished  lagging way behind demand.”

Against that backdrop he reveals that the investment market remains “resilient” and he anticipates its robust performance will continue throughout 2021, sustained by a mounting demand from domestic and overseas investors.

Nolan Redshaw has already completed more than £5m worth of investment transactions since the turn of the year with clients completing on industrial sites in Leyland and Preston.

Other investment deals completed in the county include an 80,000 sq ft retail scheme at New Hall Hey in Rawtenstall, bought by a local private investment company.

 remain strong for a further six to 12 months. With record levels of take up, enquiries, and rents levels driven by the ever-growing e-Commerce sector.”

 at Burnley-based commercial agents Whiteacres, also paints a picture of high investment activity.

He says: “We are acquiring sites for investors throughout the North of England as interest rates are still at an all-time low.

“We are also actively selling and letting commercial property in East Lancashire including  Supply is limited at the moment but I suspect this will change in the next couple of years.”

There are projects in the pipeline. He adds: “It is comforting to see a lot of new commercial developments being undertaken with the extension of Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, new units at Simonstone Business Park, new units on Metcalfe Drive on Altham and a substantial business park at Whitebirk and Burnley Bridge.”

 near Blackburn is coming out of the ground and will be built out by the end of the year.

 managing director at Blackburn-headquartered commercial property agents Trevor Dawson, says shortage of land for industrial use remains “a real problem”.

She adds: “Developers can’t build quickly enough at the moment. It is a case of ‘if you build it you will let or sell it’.

“Rents and prices are going up, probably because of the lack of land and the fact demand is outstripping supply at the moment,

“It is a problem that is not going to be solved any time soon. It really needs some creative thought.”

Danny Pinkus, partner at Preston-based commercial property consultants Robert Pinkus and Company, believes the shortage of supply is harming Lancashire’s economic prospects.

He says: “Businesses that have a requirement they need to satisfy can’t do it within Lancashire.”


Amid all the pandemic gloom around town and city centres, news that Burnley’s revised £21m leisure-led regeneration vision had been submitted to planners provided some welcome relief.

The Pioneer Place scheme aims to create a new leisure destination in the town centre, with a seven-screen cinema and a quality restaurant offering.

A joint venture involving Maple Grove Developments and the council, it will deliver 120 new jobs and pump £1.35m GVA into the local economy.

Earlier plans for the former Pioneer Co-op site on Curzon Street were submitted in late 2019. The new proposals are a scaled back version.

Nik Puttnam, Maple Grove senior development manager, said it had been a “challenging” 12 months for the project.

He said “Over the past year, working in partnership with Burnley Council, we have reviewed the development mix to ensure the scheme kickstarts the regeneration of the town centre post-Covid and to secure public monies to support delivery of the scheme from Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

“It is really exciting that we now have a fundable and deliverable scheme and,

subject to securing planning consent in the early spring, we hope to start works on site in late summer 2021, with the development scheduled to open in spring 2023.”

Council leader Mark Townsend said: “This is another step forward in helping to secure Burnley’s future as a thriving centre with an attractive shopping offer during the day, and a vibrant night-time economy.

“It’s about planning for a better future and part of wider work to prepare the way for business recovery post Covid-19.

“Having a multi-screen cinema in the town centre, along with new restaurants, will help draw in more visitors which will give a wider boost to other nearby shops and businesses.

 Burnley become a university town with the expansion of UCLan and Burnley College.”

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