THE launch of a state-of-the-art service station should trigger a jobs avalanche for East Lancashire, supporters hope.
Thousands of new positions are expected to be created once Frontier Park, off junction six of the M65 at Whitebirk, gets fully off the ground.
And one of the founders of Blackburn-based Euro Garages has heralded the development, which was opened by Mayor of Hyndburn Cllr Mohammed Ayub and veteran runner Ron Hill, as a catalyst for the regeneration of land on the Hyndburn border.
Zuber Issa, co-chief executive of the multinational, said: “Frontier Park represents an important commercial development scheme for East Lancashire.
“The roadside services are the first piece of a wider development which includes a distribution, logistics and manufacturing hub with one million sq ft of employment space, as well as a new hotel and conference facility.
“When complete, the scheme will deliver around 2,000 new jobs across 90 acres of industrial, manufacturing, logistics, retail and leisure space. The location will provide a significant much-needed boost to the local economy.”
Cllr Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn Council leader, added: “This is the first phase of a development which, in the coming months and years, will bring hundreds of quality jobs to the local area.
“It is great to welcome a local firm, which has become a global success, to Hyndburn.”
Redevelopment at the site, which boasts a Spar, Starbucks, KFC and Greggs drive-thrus and one of Totally Wicked’s first service station concessions, came about after protracted negotiations over the sprawling site.
The £5.25million project has generated 130 new jobs.
Ilyas Munshi, Euro Garages commercial director, said: “This has been a historically difficult site to develop, as it was held for years in a family trust.”
The opening ceremony also served as a fundraiser for Children In Need.