A prime 160-acre Lancashire redevelopment site will now seek new options after the shock withdrawal of the retail giant planned for it.
Swedish furniture and furnishings firm Ikea has confirmed it has pulled out of the Cuerden Strategic site at the end of the M65 near Bamber Bridge.
-->READ MORE: South Ribble Ikea site: What now?
Options for the future development of the site are now set to be explored further.
IKEA had been due to take a store on 10 per cent of the key strategic site, which is being developed to provide two million square feet of mixed use development including industrial/logistics, office/business, retail and homes.
Lancashire County Council had been in dialogue with Ikea after the company announced it wanted to withdraw from plans to build its first store in the county.
Now the county council, with its site partners Eric Wright Group and joint landowner and developer Brookhouse Group, has confirmed Ikea will no longer be part of the scheme and that it is now looking at other options.
The county council’s cabinet August meeting is expected to release more details about the scheme – and possibly reveal a new name to replace Ikea.
Leader of Lancashire County Council, Geoff Driver, said: “We will also be working hard to attract firms to the site and ensure they are aware of all the positives of locating to this part of Lancashire, and we are already talking to investors who are very interested in locating to this part of the county.”
Coun Mary Green, leader of South Ribble Council, said: “This site represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and boost the local economy significantly.
“We’ll continue to work hard with Lancashire County Council and our partners to maximise the potential of this site.”