Plans to extend Market Walk nears decision

Proposal of how Market Walk, in Chorley town centre, could look
Proposal of how Market Walk, in Chorley town centre, could look
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Plans to bring a six-screen cinema, restaurants and big name retailers to Chorley will be decided next month.

Councillors will determine whether to progress an extension on the Market Walk shopping centre in the town, which could start early in 2017.

Chorley Council, which bought the shopping centre in 2013, has been working on plans to extend the facility with a seven-unit development on the Flat Iron car park.

The authority pledged to have 75 per cent of the potential new units filled before work could begin, and it claims that there is now interest in 85 per cent of the space.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of the council, said: “To ensure our town centre has a future we have to improve the offer for visitors and developing the Market Walk extension is a key part of that.

“Whenever we ask people what would encourage them to visit the town centre people always mention bigger name retailers to complement the fantastic independent stores we already have and a better leisure offer.

“We’ve been working hard to attract new businesses to take units in the proposed extension and we are now in a position where we can put a detailed proposal to councillors so they can take a decision as to whether we progress the extension.”

The plans were supported by many when they were given planning approval last year.

The council also says that if the plans go ahead, hundreds of new jobs would be created.

“Other than Reel Cinemas, who are already committed to the scheme, we can’t reveal which businesses would be part of the proposed development at this stage as we are still in final negotiations,” aded Coun Bradley.

“We have put a lot of time and effort into securing the best possible deal for residents and it is important that the council considers this carefully.

“If it is approved and everything goes to plan then we could see work starting in the town centre as early as the New Year.

“We know parking is a major concern for residents and businesses so this would be the first element to be sorted out before any work starts on site.”

The proposals will go before councillors at a full council meeting on Tuesday, September 20.

It will also include proposals for improvements to the wider public realm across the town centre.