Preston’s KFC - the first in the UK - to close its doors

KFC on Preston's Fishergate, where the lease is for sale

KFC on Preston's Fishergate, where the lease is for sale

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The first KFC to open in the UK is set to leave its home on Preston’s Fishergate.

The fast-food outlet was the first outside the US and Canada, opening its doors in 1965.

But the lease on the city centre property is now for sale, and an A-board has now appeared above the shop.

Community representatives said they were saddened by the news.

Coun Drew Gale, who represents the city centre ward on Preston Council, said: “We are losing a little piece of history”.

The property, at 92-92a Fishergate, is listed online with a rent of £75,000 per year and rates of £32,535, and it is marketed for A3 restaurant use.

Coun Gale said: “I’m saddened by its closure, and hope the landlords will perhaps reassess the lease asking price or I fear it may lay empty.

“My immediate thoughts, though, are with the staff of the store.”

He added: “In my opinion, the rents and the rates are prohibitive to business growth - landlords and government need to rethink.

“They need to be more progressive in supporting current businesses and enticing new ones - that way we all benefit.”

It is not known if there are plans to relocate the restaurant elsewhere in the centre of Preston, and a company spokesman declined to comment when approached by the Evening Post.

Aidan Turner-Bishop, chairman of the Preston and South Ribble civic trust, described the news as a “symbol for social change”.

He said: “Nowadays there are lots of fast food places and this was one of the first ones in Britain.

“It was a change, in those days housewives did the cooking, and it was switching away from that towards television dinners and fast food.”