Push for progress in mill regeneration plan

Wesley Street Mill, Bamber Bridge
Wesley Street Mill, Bamber Bridge

An MP has added his voice to calls to regenerate a run-down former mill site, dubbed a “blight” on Bamber Bridge.

Wesley Street Mill has been largely derelict for years and has attracted vandals and fallen into disrepair, with broken windows and overgrown weeds.

The site, formerly the home of the Bamber Bridge Spinning and Weaving Company, has long been earmarked for redevelopment, with South Ribble Council working with its owners on finding a solution. However, concerns have been voiced about how long the project is taking to come to fruition.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, whose constituency includes Bamber Bridge, said: “There must be proper redevelopment or else South Ribble Borough Council should go ahead with a compulsory purchase of the site.

“My understanding is that the last remaining tenant will be leaving shortly and that for the most part the mill has been empty for around 10 years.

“The fact that it has lain in disrepair for so long, becoming a target for anti-social behaviour as well as being aesthetically unpleasing, means that the time has well and truly come to do something about it.

“I know the (South Ribble) council has been working hard to reach a resolution for some time now and I wholeheartedly support their attempts to rectify this situation.

“The residents of Bamber Bridge deserve this redevelopment. I sincerely hope that we can achieve a resolution which will represent peace of mind for local residents.”

Coun Cliff Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “We are determined to see the area regenerated as soon as possible, and I remain confident of finding a solution through constructive discussions with all interested parties, which have been going very well.

“The mill is currently a blight on the area, but the land is perfect for development which would bring a huge boost to Bamber Bridge and the local economy. The council has been encouraging all parties to work together to develop the separate sites in a co-ordinated way, and I am grateful to all involved for their continuing co-operation.”