Joint Venture Partners Barnfield Investment Properties and Pendle Borough Council celebrate the official completion of Northlight, Pendle.


It has been over a decade since Pendle Enterprise and Regeneration (Brierfield Mill) Limited ran a national masterplan and design competition for the historic Brierfield Mill. 12 years later and on 8th February 2024, joint venture partners Barnfield Investment Properties and Pendle Borough Council celebrated the official completion.


Pendle Enterprise and Regeneration Ltd (PEARL), was established by local construction company Barnfield and Pendle Borough Council as a means to encourage regeneration and specifically as a vehicle for the development of a community-based Arts, Culture and Enterprise Centre (the ACE centre) in Nelson. The development continued and the joint venture went onto successfully transform sites across the borough including Shackleton Hall, Market Street and Harrison Drive.


In March 2012, Stephen Barnes former Chief Executive of Pendle Borough Council successfully negotiated to buy the historic mill for £1.5 million thanks to a 100% grant from the government’s Homes England. The mill complex was then transferred to the PEARL and the £32m investment commenced.


The former mill is now complete with 85 2 bedroom apartments, education facilities, 103,000 sq ft office and industrial work space, 25,000 sq ft business storage space, leisure and cultural facilities in the iconic grade 2 listed building.


PEARL invested £17.9m in the redevelopment and a further £11.82 million was secured through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal, BFC in the Community and its investors, Lancashire County Council and Nelson & Colne College.


Tim Webber MBE, MD of Barnfield Construction and PEARL Board Member explained how the development started “We started work on Northlight in 2016 with the winning masterplan. The first project was the offices, we engaged in a partnership with Nelson & Colne College and Lancashire County Council to bring in Lancashire Adult Learning, who now occupy the building. Having Lancashire Adult Learning at Northlight was really the anchor to the scheme.”


Tim explained “Latterly, Richard Sutton and Brian Nelson, former BFC Director were looking to expand and create an indoor community leisure facility, and the Leisurebox was created.”

The joint venture partners also brought in Business First office space, Store First self storage, Northlight Industries managed office space, In-Situ and FUNDA.


Tim added “We are very proud to bring this iconic facility, and everything it comes with, to our local area.  Had this iconic building not been rescued, it would have been a real detriment to the area of Brierfield and hopefully now we have made something for the residents of Pendle to be proud of.”


Rose Rouse, Chief Executive of Pendle Borough Council said “The success of the project is down to the power of partnership working. All of this would have not been possible without the engagement of Homes England, Lancashire County Council, the LEP, Pendle Borough Council, Burnley FC In the Community and Nelson & Colne College.


“The project is providing a better quality of life for local people, has supported a range of local businesses, created hundreds of jobs, secured much needed market housing and widened housing choice in Pendle and regenerated a dilapidated site.”


Councillor Asjad Mahmood, Leader of Pendle Borough Council, added:” We’re immensely proud of PEARL’s flagship project Northlight. PEARL continues to be a driving force for regeneration in Pendle.”


County Councillor Ash Sutcliffe, lead member for cultural services and skills at Lancashire County Council, said: “We’re proud that the county council was able to provide funding to help support this landmark redevelopment, bringing new homes, jobs and growth to this part of East Lancashire.


“The offices and commercial space in particular will support local businesses as well as attracting new ones into the area, providing additional economic benefits to this project and the surrounding area.


“By transforming this historic building, it gives it a bright future.”


Debbie Francis OBE, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said “Northlight is exactly the type of regenerative project the LEP’s Growth Deal was designed to support. Reinventing a site like Brierfield as a contemporary mixed-used scheme, featuring residential, commercial, cultural and education facilities, will bring significant benefits to both businesses and communities. It also shows how by working in partnership, we can help to drive economic growth, support new jobs, and generate new opportunities for residents, across all parts of Lancashire.”


The developed landmark has helped build local pride in Pendle, recognising that several generations of local people have worked in the mill or lived alongside it, and celebrates Pendle’s cotton industry heritage.

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