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
Have your say

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.”