11 March 2021
Businesses in Chorley's main shopping centre are looking forward to bringing fun and entertainment back into people's lives with the local authority's investment in Market Walk putting the town in a much better position than many other places to recover from the pandemic.
Chorley Council finished a multi-million pound investment in the town which was already having positive impact on footfall ahead of the pandemic and while the cinema, adventure golf, tenpin bowling and restaurants haven't been able to open properly for the last year the authority has been able to support tenants as much as it can so they are ready to bounce back as soon as restrictions allow.
The businesses that have been able to remain open have been helping people with essentials however the attractive mix of local, independent retailers and bigger names such as Marks and Spencer within the town means that Chorley is best placed to recover quickly from the pandemic.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: "We've been bold in our ambitions for Chorley over recent times and that investment is going to be a real help as we look to recover. We made a conscious decision to take more control of the town centre and invest in it so it was ready for the changes in how town centres will need to adapt and that pace of change has been accelerated by the pandemic.
"It's been a challenging time for our businesses, and I'm so glad that some have been able to stay open and that others have adapted by offering alternative ways for customers to shop.
"When the shops reopen, I would encourage our residents to remember to shop in their local areas - they can only strive through this challenging time with your support."
Market Walk tenant, Escape Entertainment, has adapted during the COVID-19 closures to offer takeaways from the restaurant element of their operation that also includes bowling and adventure golf.
Ian Kearney from Escape Entertainment said "It was never in our business plan to start doing takeaways, however, like many businesses, we did what we had to do and adapt to these challenging times.
"We have been blown away by how successful the takeaway service has been and how much support we have had with it, however we are really looking forward to reopening and welcoming visitors to enjoy the rest of what we have to offer and some new additions, we will also be launching a pop up coffee shop in the lobby targeted for the April 12 non-essential retail opening, providing grab and go coffee, sandwiches, milkshakes & snacks etc to takeaway or enjoy the weather in our outdoor seating area.
"This has been made possible with support from the LCC Kickstart grant who have worked with us since April 2020 to provide assistance and advice. We are so grateful of all the support from the Council over the last 12 months"
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council said, "We've been working closely with our businesses to help them operate safely during these difficult times but there is light at the end of the tunnel, we're looking forward to businesses being able to reopen fully in the coming weeks and residents enjoying what Chorley has to offer.
"We'll continue to ensure that visitors to Chorley have a fantastic offering to enjoy. We already have a fantastic mix of high street favourites, local independent traders, traditional markets and there continues to be confidence in our town, with plenty of interest in the remaining units of the Market Walk extension throughout the pandemic - we hope to share more exciting announcements about this soon."
Market Walk has a great retail and leisure offer including High Street favourites, such as M&S Foodhall, The Fragrance Shop, Boots, JD Sports, Game, Peacocks, H Samuel and the newest retail opening Sports Direct, as well local independent businesses and great places for food and drink.
For more information on Market Walk, please follow @mwchorley on Facebook