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IKEA WON'T be coming to Lancashire

ikea preston bamber bridge

6:52am 18th May 2018
(Updated 9:24am 18th May 2018)

IKEA won't be coming to Lancashire after all.

The Swedish furniture giant has announced it is pulling out of the Cuerden development in South Ribble.

The company cited "economic reasons" for the decision.

Richard Rands, IKEA UK and Ireland Property Manager, commented:

"After careful consideration, IKEA UK and Ireland has decided not to progress with the planned development of an IKEA store at Cuerden Strategic Site, Preston. Our decision is due to increased development costs and delays outside of IKEA's control which no longer make this location viable.

We will continue to look for new sites and opportunities in this area as part of our commitment to expansion in the UK. At IKEA, we want to be more accessible, bringing our unique home furniture expertise and product range closer to more customers, and we look forward to exploring new opportunities."

IKEA had been due to take a unit on a 65 hectare site in Cuerden, which is being developed to provide employment, retail, housing and leisure facilities.

The site is expected to create around 4,500 new jobs in a variety of sector including office, retail, manufacturing, logistics, catering and hospitality.

Leader of Lancashire County Council, Cllr Geoff Driver said: "IKEA have notified us that they wish to withdraw their plans for a new store at the Cuerden development site. This is extremely disappointing and we will hold discussions over the next few weeks with IKEA, the main anchor occupier for the retail element of the strategic development site at Cuerden.

"All parties agreed to the timescales more than a year ago and we have been working together consistently to meet all deadlines.

"We appreciate that there is a current state of uncertainty in the UK retail market generally, and we know there have been rising costs. However, this still remains a great investment opportunity. The site is in a very sought after location, right on the motorway network with planning consent already granted. Lancashire County Council will continue to work hard with their partners, the Eric Wright Group and Brookhouse, to ensure they reach the best possible outcome for Lancashire."

Campaign Group Limit Cuerden have reacted to the news:

"The news of Ikea pulling out of the Cureden development is a relief for the thousands of South Ribble residents living near the site. Their lives would have been ruined by a huge increase in traffic on a road network ill prepared for a development of this scale. The mitigating highways improvement measures that were proposed would have done little to stem the daily gridlock we already experience in Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge.

What is a tradegy is that hundreds of trees have already been cleared from the site leaving a terrible blot on the landscape at the end of the M65. We would be interested to know how this will be made good in the interim.

The news that hundreds of jobs will not now be created and the wider scheme is in jeopardy is less welcome.

Limit Cuerden has been realistic in the knowledge that this site was always going to be developed. It's been earmarked for over 20 years. We wanted it done in a way that respected the local communities surrounding it.

We sincerely hope that whatever is next for this land, that residents will be properly consulted and appropriate traffic measures to cope with the demand will be included".

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