Smith & Love leads planning application for major employment site in Blackburn

Smith & Love is acting on behalf of an engineering and fabrication company, WEC Group, as it moves forward with plans to create a new advanced manufacturing facility and training academy in Blackburn.

Plans for a 25,000sq ft industrial manufacturing unit and academy facility at Walker Park, Blackburn have been submitted to Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Established for over 40 years, the WEC Group has grown from its origins in Darwen, to being one of the largest contract manufacturing companies in Europe, working in the aerospace, defence, security, marine, oil & gas and rail sectors.

The company operates the WEC Group Training Academy which offers a unique five-year advanced engineering apprenticeship programme. The Group trains 10 apprentices per year at its site in Darwen. The oversubscribed course has attracted the attention of several other northwest companies who would like to send employees and apprentices to be trained by WEC.

The new purpose-built training facility, close to Junction 5 of the M65, will enable WEC Group to relocate its training facility from Darwen and expand its apprenticeship programme. It will enable the company to contribute positively to the economy and skills base of the Borough through the provision of highly skilled jobs in manufacturing. The development will create 144 new jobs.

A decision on the planning application is expected in September.

Graham Love, Smith & Love Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with the WEC Group at this exciting time and hope to see the companies’ growth ambitions come to fruition later this year.“