Bus site to stay in industrial usage

John Fishwick & Sons bus depot at Tuer Street Golden Hill Lane in Leyland

John Fishwick & Sons bus depot at Tuer Street Golden Hill Lane in Leyland

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The former Fishwick’s bus company site is to stay in industrial usage, it was revealed yesterday.

The news will be a welcome jobs boost for Leyland.

Not only did some 55 jobs, mainly drivers and engineers, disappear from the area when the 108-year-old firm suddenly ceased trading in October, but earlier this month Leyland suffered another blow when more than 70 jobs were lost with the closure of the Via Partnership.

Among interested parties in Fishwick’s 18,250 sq ft site on Tuer Street, off Golden Hill Lane, were housing developers.

RSM, administrators for the company, said earlier this month: “There has been general interest from third parties who are interested in taking on the site, both from an industrial perspective and potential residential planning perspective.”

But the site has now been sold, subject to contracts being exchanged.

And Jason Austin, associate director for RSM, said: “As far as I’m aware it will continue to be for industrial usage.

“There may be housing there in the future, but it’s not been sold for housing, as far as I’m aware.”

He said an offer had been accepted. “Draft contracts have been issued,” he said. “We are hopeful of completing in the new year.

He said his understanding was that the prospective buyer was not local to the area, but from the north.

South Ribble councillor Claire Hamilton, whose central ward includes the site, said: “I’m delighted. It’s great news.

“Our residents didn’t want it to be turned into housing, they wanted jobs to be kept in the local area.”

She said the closure of Fishwick’s was “devastating.

Lancashire county councillor Matthew Tomlinson, pictured, who represents Leyland central, said: “It’s great news. It will be welcome news for the economy of the town and anybody currently looking for a job.

“We can work with them and with the local residents to make sure they are a good asset for the area.”

Found in 1907, Fishwick’s, whose iconic green buses were a familiar sight in the Leyland, South Ribble and Preston areas, went out of business as a result of significant cash flow issues. The firm offered luxury coach holidays to many UK and international destinations, public transport services, and private bus and coach hire.

The Via Partnership, which operates across Lancashire, provides advice and guidance for young people and adults, and business support for workforce development.

It is owned by Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

It went into administration, with Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, saying it is “no longer a going concern and therefore not in a position to cover its financial responsibilities”.