Market Walk extension moves a step closer
CHORLEY town centre is set to undergo a £17 million transformation over the next few years as Chorley Council is on the verge of sealing deals with several high profile businesses for the Market Walk shopping centre extension.
The ambitious scheme would see a cinema, high street retailers and restaurants move into the shopping centre with the rest of the town centre being revamped to make Chorley an even more enjoyable place to shop and enjoy leisure time.
Councillors will take a decision on whether to proceed with all the developments on Tuesday and work could start as early as January, if approved.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “This is a really exciting time for Chorley because the proposals would see some of the biggest changes in a generation and set up our town centre to thrive over the coming years.
“It has taken a huge amount of work to get to this stage but we are delivering what residents and visitors have told us they want to see so we can attract even more visitors into Chorley.
“The work will ensure we have a different offer to complement the many independent traders and markets, which make our town what it is, and by increasing footfall everyone in the town centre should benefit.”
The extension would see seven new units created with the council committed to having more than 75 per cent of the floor space filled before work could begin.
The £17 million investment will include £12.6 million for the Market Walk extension and associated works and a further £4 million being put towards improving the public realm, including the creation of a new civic square opposite the Town Hall.
“We know parking has been one of the main concerns flagged up by residents and businesses so that will be the first thing we sort out if the scheme goes ahead,” said Councillor Bradley.
“Not only will we be creating new parking spaces but we are going to look at creating more free parking to encourage people to visit.
“We will also have to consider the relocation of the Flat Iron Market while the work takes place and we will be consulting fully with traders over the coming weeks.
“The additional income that could be generated from the Market Walk extension will play an important part in helping the council to balance its books as we have to become self-sufficient by 2020.”
Chorley Council bought the Market Walk shopping centre in 2013 and planning permission was granted for the extension last year.
A number of modifications have been made to the original plans, which will now see the development earn more income than initially projected.