'˜Don't be worried about empty shops' - Town Council
Residents should not be worried by the growing number of empty shops in Penwortham, according to the Town Council.
In recent weeks two more premises have been vacated - Lloyds Bank and Cutting Crew - bringing the total number to seven.
In addition to this, a bungalow site, which has permission to be turned into a wine bar and one retail unit, is still a building site.
“We’re aware of it, but don’t think there’s too much to worry about at the moment”, said Steve Caswell, Penwortham town manager.
“It looks worse when you have two shops next to one another that are empty, but a few of the empty units are undergoing refurbishment and there are plans for new tenants.
“There’s a lot of nice shops in Penwortham still - nice little cafes, a restaurant, carpet shops, opticians, florists, so we’re not too concerned.”
Tesco is currently preparing plans for a new supermarket on the former Government buildings site in Cop Lane.
Objectors have raised concerns that it will have a detrimental effect on independent businesses in the Liverpool Road area. But Mr Caswell believes the supermarket could have the opposite effect.
He said: “At the moment, there’s a bit of a lull, a bit of a stalemate situation in Penwortham, because we’re waiting for Tesco to develop the Cop Lane site and for Penwortham Bypass to be built.
“But I think that when these developments get underway, we will start to see a difference, and more parking spaces at Tesco would help the local area.
We’re hoping to develop the shopping area into more of a village centre feel, somewhere that’s more pedestrian-friendly. It’s an optimistic time.”