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St Modwen Properties has been selected by Blackburn with Darwen Council as preferred developer for the creation of a 15-acre business park specialising in providing facilities for medical, technology and knowledge-based firms, adjacent to the expanding Queen’s Park Hospital, Blackburn.

The £27 million proposed 20,718 sq m ( 223,000 sq ft) development, to be carried out in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, is planned to begin with the construction of a 2,787 sq m (30,000 sq ft) innovation centre and 1,393 sq m (15,000 sq ft) of business accommodation.

Up to 700 jobs are expected to be created by the scheme which will have links with the university to help to encourage research and development activities.

Steven Knowles of St Modwen, said: “The scheme will be similar in concept to our successful Cranfield Technology Park which we have developed in conjunction with Cranfield University. We will operate the innovation centre, provide business support and as a result attract start-up and expanding businesses.

“ The site which is only five minutes drive from Junction 5 of the M65 will be opened up with a spine road and high quality landscaping. We aim to have a rolling programme of development, starting in the summer.”

Coun. Andy Kay, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “We are pleased there was such a lot of developer interest in this high quality office space and technology centre.

“This is a sign of Blackburn’s growing economy and an indication that high-quality, high-skill businesses are showing interest in coming here.”

For further information contact Steven Knowles of St Modwen (01925 825950). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (0121 236 7771).