Options for the future development of the Lancashire Central site at Cuerden are now set to be explored further.
IKEA had been due to take a store on 10 per cent of the 65 hectare site adjacent to the M65 and M6, a key strategic site which is being developed to provide two million square feet of mixed use development including industrial/logistics, office/business space, retail and homes.
Lancashire County Council had been in dialogue with the Swedish furniture and furnishing giant after the company announced it wanted to withdraw from plans to build its first store in the county.
Now the county council, with its partners on the site Eric Wright Group and joint landowner and developer Brookhouse Group, has confirmed that IKEA will no-longer be part of the scheme and it is now looking at other options for the site.
Leader of Lancashire County Council, Councillor Geoff Driver CBE said: "We are disappointed that IKEA has chosen not to be part of this scheme.
"However we are confident that this prime site will be very attractive to other companies with vision and aspirations, and are therefore looking at other options for the site.
"The site is in a very sought after location, right on the motorway network, and comes with planning consent already granted. It is a great investment opportunity.
"We will also be working hard to attract firms to the site and ensure they are aware of all the positives of locating to this part of Lancashire, and we are already talking to investors who are very interested in locating to this part of the county."
Councillor Mary Green, leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “South Ribble is already famous for attracting big names to do business and is proud to be home to the likes of DAF, Waitrose and Dr Oetker.
“Lancashire Central couldn’t be better placed with fantastic access to major transport networks and is ideally located in the Best Place to Live in the UK.
“As well as our great links to business, we are proud to boast excellent education provision and offer a fantastic borough to re-locate to.
“This site represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and boost the local economy significantly.
“We’ll continue to work hard with Lancashire County Council and our partners to maximise the potential of this site.”