£250m plans for Lancaster development site expected in 2018

The former Mitchells Brewery in Lancaster
The former Mitchells Brewery in Lancaster

New plans for a major Lancaster development project are expected by the end of next year - and work could start in 2021.

Lancaster City Council chief executive Susan Parsonage confirmed that new plans for the Canal Corridor North site will go before councillors next week.

Lancaster City Council chief executive Susan Parsonage

Lancaster City Council chief executive Susan Parsonage

The plans are set to include an arts centre, food and drink use, and student accommodation incorporating old and new buildings.

The development has taken a number of forms since it was first mooted in 2004.

And there has been strong opposition to certain elements of the original plans from councillors and members of the public.

Susan Parsonage, chief executive of Lancaster City Council, told the Place North West business to business website that British Land is set to invest £100m in the project.

For the arts and retail element there is a development value of £180m, and once student accommodation is included this raises to £250m.

Discussions as to the operation of the arts venue are underway, and Arts Council England are “very interested”, the website said.

Mrs Parsonage said: “The Canal Corridor Development has been pursued as a regeneration priority by the city council since 2004 and remains a key project in the Local Development Framework.

“The development agreement with British Land has been in place since 2012 and it is important that it is now reviewed and decisions made on the most appropriate way forward, to secure the viable regeneration of the site.

“A range of options and the implications for each one will be reported to Full Council on Tuesday October 31.

“Councillors will be asked to authorise further negotiation with British Land, Lancaster University, and other relevant key partners, to inform detailed development of the scheme’s concepts, layout and design.

“Subject to this being agreed, the aim is to finalise heads of terms early in 2018, with submission of a planning application by the end of that year.”

The press and public will not be allowed to hear the options being presented to councillors on October 31.

Lancaster University became a backer of the project last year, the focus of which is the redevelopment of the area around The Dukes Theatre, the Grand Theatre, the former Mitchell’s brewery, and the Musicians’ Co-Op.

Subject to planning permission, work would get underway in 2021, and be completed by 2023.

For more on this story, see the Lancaster Guardian this Thursday.