Business park sale proposal

White Cross in Lancaster.
White Cross in Lancaster.

THE White Cross Business Park in Lancaster could be sold off by the county council as part of a £280m property review.

Lancashire County Council has revealed it is looking for property experts to regenerate its portfolio of nearly 100 properties, and wants to use its buildings to stimulate economic growth in the county.

It said it is now looking to work with private sector development partners to unlock the regeneration potential of its surplus buildings, which are valued at around £20m.

Other council properties , including White Cross, could be part of the plans in the future, depending on discussions with private sector partners.

Lancaster firm Storeys was established at the White Cross in 1856, and occupied the site for 126 years, employing 2,200 staff there during the 1970s.

When Storeys closed, the county council’s economic development company Lancashire County Developments (LCDL) bought the site in 1982 and spent 15 years renovating it to create a range of industrial and office units for new and growing businesses by sub-dividing large work areas. It is now occupied by 130 businesses employing more than 1,000 people and has a total of 400,000 sq ft of lettable space.

Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver said: “We are exploring every way of marketing Lancashire’s assets to get the best value for the people of Lancashire.

“Rather than just selling these properties to the highest bidder, we are looking at becoming involved in a partnership with a developer.

“That is a better way to maximise the benefit of these properties for the county council and the taxpayers’ of Lancashire.”