Visitors to Chorley town centre can look forward to a new cinema and shopping experience as work gets underway on building the £12 million Market Walk extension in October.
Shopping centre owners Chorley Council has been working on plans to attract more people to the town centre and work will start on constructing the main building on Monday 8 October.
The authority has been re-shaping the town’s car parking by creating dozens of new spaces over the last year and the diggers are set to move in to build the eight-unit extension, which is adjacent to the by-pass off Union Street.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are really excited now we are ready to start the main construction and this development will be a key factor in giving our town centre a long term future.
“While many other town centres are struggling we are one of a few that is continuing to do well because of our mix of independent traders and the popular markets, which gives us a unique offer.
“To get M&S to open a new store here while they are closing in other places is a real coup and it shows the confidence that some of the biggest names have in what we are doing and it will undoubtedly bring new people into the town centre.”
The M&S Foodhall will be joined by a six-screen Reel Cinema and Loungers restaurant with negotiations continuing with a number of other high profile businesses over the remaining units.
The key things that will be happening over the coming weeks are:
• Construction of the Market Walk extension will start on 8 October
• A new crossing over the by-pass to be completed for 15 October
• Friday Street car park to be fully opened by 16 November (the ground floor is due to open in mid-October)
• Free wifi to be installed across the town centre (first phase to be completed by Christmas 2018)
“We appreciate there will be some disruption in the coming months but we’ve done our bit to create plenty of new parking spaces with lots of free options and it’s important everyone does their bit and continues to visit the town centre,” said Councillor Bradley.
“We are seeing more interest in the new units we have yet to fill and that will continue to grow once we have a spade in the ground and businesses can see this is a scheme that is going to happen and will be open in time for Christmas next year.
“It’s an exciting time for Chorley with the new youth zone, Primrose Gardens retirement village and the digital office park developments all progressing well and it shows we are a borough that is continuing to develop and a great place for people to invest.”
The existing 35-unit Market Walk shopping centre has been fully occupied for much of the time since the council bought it in 2013 and sits in the heart of the town centre adjacent to the markets and bus and rail interchange.
More information on the plans can be found here