Lancashire brewer and pub operator Daniel Thwaites has revealed plans to sell its Blackburn brewery to Sainsbury’s as it looks to build a “state of the art” site elsewhere in the region. Thwaites said Sainsbury’s has agreed to buy the existing town centre site, subject to planning permission to change it into a supermarket. Proceeds from the sale will help fund the construction of a new brewery. Thwaites said it plans to spend a “substantial” sum on the new project, which it anticipates will take between three and four years. It has held preliminary discussions with Blackburn and Darwen Council to help identify a new site. In a statement, the brewer said: “The company’s current brewery in Blackburn town centre was built in 1966. It does not provide the flexibility or efficiency for the demands of today’s market and requires significant modernisation. “Following a strategic review, the company, which employs over 300 people in Blackburn, has decided that moving to a new brewery and offices on a different site is the best way to improve its operational efficiency and remain competitive.” Chief executive Richard Bailey said: “This is a great opportunity for us to address the challenges that we face with our existing brewery and to reinvigorate our business by building a new modern and efficient brewery. “It signals our commitment to brewing our fine ales over the longer term and underpins sustainable employment locally. “While we have been in the centre of Blackburn for over 200 years, times have changed and these plans allow us to lay strong foundations for the future.”