Fears have been expressed for Chorley town centre after accounting giants Baker Tilly announced it will be leaving the town.
The UK based company recently completed a takeover of accounting firm RSM Tenon.
Now, the company has announced it will be leaving its St Thomas’ Road, Chorley, premises and will relocate to Preston into a larger facility.
Currently the company employs more than 190 staff.
Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders Alliance, feels the loss of Baker Tilly is a huge blow to the town and anticipates that hundreds of thousands of pounds will be lost from the local economy.
He said: “This really is bad news for Chorley purely for the amount the employees spend in the town. All traders will feel the effects of the loss of the employees. It’s a huge loss of jobs in the town centre and the overall spending in the town will be down.”
Mr Allen also raised concerns about the building itself and what could replace a building of its size.
He added: “What could Chorley get to fill a gap of that size. It’s a huge building and office blocks aren’t easy to fill, we just need to look at the tax office that has been empty for years.
“Possibly a boutique hotel could fill the gap?”
A spokesman from Baker Tilly said: “We don’t expect any mandatory redundancies as a result of the office closure.
“Our merger with RSM Tenon now means that we have a number of offices within the region and so we’re now merging them into one large facility in Preston and we currently have no news on what will happen to the building.”