A STRIKING Y-shaped footbridge is to be built to help form the gateway to the Weavers’ Triangle in Burnley.

The 'wishbone' structure is part of a £3million investment for the town's former cotton heart-land.

It will link the new university training college and planned offices in Slater's Terrace with Sandygate Square, the landscaped heart of the mill complex, over the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

The bridge will be just yards from where The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles arrived on a barge to tour the site in May last year.

And it will be overlooked by the suite where Charles’ Prince’s Trust will be based, charity officials have confirmed.

The Prince of Wales has been a longstanding supporter of the area and has championed its regeneration at the highest levels.

Council leader Coun Julie Cooper said: “This is just another piece in the jigsaw for the redevelopment of the Weavers’ Triangle.

“There is no point in making these investments if you cannot get access to them in the first place and this is fantastic news.”

Sandygate Square will be the centrepiece of the mills redevelopment and the funding will connect Victoria Mill, which will house the college, with the hub.

One spur will emerge at the top of Wiseman Street and the other in a mini-square at the top of Arthur Street. Cafe bars have been envisaged on either bank by architects.

Under the upgrades planned, Trafalgar Street will be slightly realigned to widen the footpath and make the entrance to Weaver’s Triangle more attractive.

The junction of Sandygate and Trafalgar Street is also set to be opened up, as part of the same moves.

Sandygate itself will be resurfaced to give pedestrians priority - especially with access to Sandygate Square itself.

Council bosses have been told that £1.5million has been confirmed from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for improvements to Sandygate and Trafalgar Street.

This will combine with the same amount guaranteed for the borough by the Regional Growth Fund last year.

Council regeneration and economic development spokesman James Warnock said in a report that ultimately the improvements would improve links between the Weaver's Triangle, the town centre and Manchester Road and Burnley Barracks railway stations.

Mr Warnock added: “This ERDF grant will encourage and facilitate private investment in an area that at present constitutes a difficult environment for all means of access.”

Councillors have been told by that the ERDF investment must be spent by the end of January 2015, under the terms of the funding.

The footbridge, which will be around 25 metres wide and was revealed at a public exhibition at last year’s Burnley Canal Festival.

Construction work will be handled by Nelson-based Barnfield Construction, the council's regeneration partner.