Construction to start this month on £26m repurposed Botany Bay development

Redevelopment plans

The developer behind a £26m industrial and commercial park in Chorley said construction work will begin on the scheme this month.

FI Real Estate Management (FIREM) had proposed to develop a retail outlet village on the 21-acre Botany Bay site, but switched use to industrial and commercial usage in November 2020, as a result of the pandemic.

When complete, the scheme will deliver 33 units for light industrial and commercial use across 405,000 sq ft and a drive-thru food outlet.

FIREM received planning permission for the development from Chorley Borough Council in July and the development will be the largest built by its construction arm, FI Construction.

FIREM manages assets totalling more than £1bn and founder and managing director, Tim Knowles, said the Botany Bay development was one of the most important in the company’s 40-year history.

Tim said: “We want to create the highest quality industrial and commercial space for local businesses and those from further afield looking to make Lancashire their home.

“Botany Bay is an iconic location and the development will be built in two phases. The construction costs for phase one will be £26m and the fit out costs will add an estimated 10% to the total bill.

“We’ve already significantly grown our FI Construction arm to deliver it. We’re also fully committed to provide further training and employment opportunities to local people as well as seeking new supply chain partners from across Lancashire to ensure FIREM’s investment benefits the local economy.”

The company employs 300 people across the group and plans to add another 100 as part of its growth strategy.

Cllr Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s great news to see that work is starting on site at Botany Bay.

“It is a really important site for the borough and not only will it create new jobs, it will provide modern facilities for existing Chorley businesses to grow into and also opportunities for businesses to relocate here.

“As a council we are doing what we can to stimulate growth and it is just as important that we see private investors helping to make Chorley a better place to do business and this is a really good example of that.”

Once complete, the new development will provide units specifically designed for light industrial use. Unit sizes will range from 1,000 sq ft reaching 164,000 sq ft.

FIREM’s Botany Bay development forms part of its growing pipeline of new-build projects across the UK, totalling five million sq ft over the next four years. It sits within FIREM’s already extensive UKportfolio of commercial property which now exceeds 10 million sq ft.

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