THIS is the first look at the research and development hub which will form the centrepiece of Burnley’s newly-named multi-million pound ‘Vision Park’.

Borough leaders were in Manchester earlier today to launch the advanced manu-facturing venture which will be a near neighbour of the Burnley College and UCLan campus.

Like-minded tenants will be sought for the ‘innovation centre’ which will form the first phase of the ambitious proposals, on land which once housed the town’s refuse and recycling centre.

Bridgewater Hall was chosen as the prestige venue to unveil the five-acre development, which will be incorporated into the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ off Princess Way.

Steve Rumbelow, the borough council’s chief executive, said: “Vision Park will provide a unique offer to advanced manufacturing and digital industries that can connect to the unrivalled manufacturing and robotic technologies in the adjacent education campus.

“Burnley is becoming a regionally significant centre for advanced manufacturing and we are creating modern business environments to attract growing business in this sector, which will benefit from being based among firms at the forefront of advanced manufacturing.”

Close links are expected with the Centre of Engineering Excellence which has recently been given the go-ahead for the nearby college.

Council leader Coun Mark Townsend said that the authority was ‘excited’ to be linking up with partners Trebor Developments, a company responsible for several other ‘niche’ business parks in the UK.

Bob Tattrie, Trebor’s managing partner, said that the first phase would offer units from 500 to 10,000 square feet, ‘allowing occupiers the opportunity to thrive in a high-quality working environment with like-minded businesses’.

Council chiefs are hopeful that the Vision Park will dovetail with other regeneration efforts at Burnley Bridge Business Park and the aerospace village on the former Michelin site.