High-end hopes for ‘eyesore’ shop

Plans: The former supermarket building in Liverpool Road, Penwortham
Plans: The former supermarket building in Liverpool Road, Penwortham
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A “run down” empty supermarket building could be turned into an upmarket wine bar, if plans are given the green light.

Mark Fishwick, owner of Penwortham MOT Centre, has applied to change the use of the former Booths supermarket in Liverpool Road, Penwortham.

He said: “It’s in the very early stages at the moment, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

“My garage was closed for five months because of bad flooding in December, and with all that going on, I had time to think and I made my mind up to go for it. ”

In a report to South Ribble Council, agent Neil Anyon states the venue would be called Marco’s, would have a complete refit, and could create up to 15 new jobs.

Mr Fishwick added: “It would be very bright and modern, and would be a wine bar, a coffee bar and we’d be doing things like tapas.

“There are a lot of people who say they like the idea, and I think that the area needs to move a bit with the times, or it will be left with another empty building, especially with business rates being so high.”

He added: “I haven’t worked in the wine bar industry before, but my mum and dad ran pubs and I grew up in them, and I’m a fast learner with friends in the trade.

“But, it all depends on the local people - whether they want something like this - and there are a few issues that need ironing out before we get to go ahead with it.”

Since closing as Booths, the premises has briefly been a Safeway and a Nearbuy shop, but has been empty for four years, with Mr Anyon describes the building as “gradually becoming a local eyesore”.

Recently, local councillors have expressed concern about the number of empty shops in Liverpool Road, and are looking at ways to make the area more attractive for shoppers.