Former Chorley toy shop to be transformed

PLANS: The former Hampson's toy shop
PLANS: The former Hampson's toy shop
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Plans to open a restaurant in a revamped part of Chorley town centre have been welcomed.

The former Hampson’s toy store, Market Street, looks set to be transformed into an Indian eatery.

The shop was owned and run by the Hampson family since the 1960s, but it closed last year and the family now trades on Chorley’s covered market.

Rochdale businessman Raju Ahmed, who owns four Indian restaurants in the North West, wants to turn the empty shop into a luxury venue.

He said: “The new restaurant will create 15 new jobs for Chorley. I bought into the Bay Leaves on Park Road last year to get a feel for the town.

“I like Chorley, it gets busy at night. The location of the new place is excellent.”

The restaurant will open in a redeveloped part of Market Street. In the last six months, Chorley and Lancashire County councils have relaid footpaths and roads to help revitalise that southern area of the town centre to coincide with the new nearby Asda store which opened last October.

The planning application has been welcomed by Chorley Council and the Chorley Traders’ Alliance.

Jamie Carson, council director, said: “The improvements to Market Street were done to make the area more appealing for visitors and to attract new businesses to the town centre. It’s good to see someone showing an interest in one of the empty properties and we are currently awaiting responses to the consultation on the planning application.”

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “I welcome the plans. It’s a different cuisine and it adds much need variety for the town centre.”