A TEXTILES firm that manufactures soft furnishings for John Lewis has announced plans to expand in Darwen.

Following recent business growth, bosses at Herbert Parkinson want to increase warehousing capacity at the site in Monton Road, which has been operating in the area for more than 80 years.

They said the expansion could create 30 new jobs.

Plans include incorporating the space currently used for the staff dining room and offices into the production areas.

The plans also include the reconfiguration of the car park to increase the number of spaces by 16 and a new car park entrance in Mostyn Street.

Before a planning application is submitted, a consultation event will take place at the site for local residents tomorrow and Wednesday, from 6pm to 8pm.

Visitors will be able to view and discuss further information on the plans, ask questions and provide their feedback.

Stuart McDonald, managing director of Herbert Parkinson, said: “Our proposal will ensure that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers as well as their future requirements.

“We have experienced steady growth since we first started manufacturing here back in 1935, making investments in the mill, so that we now offer our own design service, six lines for making curtains and blinds, lamination for printed or woven fabrics, as well as three duvet-filling lines.

“We now need to adapt our space to enable us to build on this success and boost production.

“Over the next three years, we anticipate that this could result in up to 30 additional jobs for local people.”

Established in 1935 and acquired by the John Lewis Partnership in 1953, Herbert Parkinson makes, on average, more than 1,700 made-to-measure curtains and blinds, 9,000 cushions, 1,000 duvets and 2,800 pillows every week.

Following the consultation and after reviewing all of the feedback received, a planning application is expected to be submitted by May this year.

If approved, the work is scheduled for completion by summer next year.