Chorley Council approves £17m town centre revamp

Chorley town centre will see dramatic changes in the coming months after Chorley Council agreed one of the biggest investment packages ever made to improve the town centre.

Achorley-17mmbitious plans to bring a new cinema, high street retailers and restaurants to Chorley should now become a reality after councillors gave their approval to proceed with the Market Walk extension.

The move will ensure that Chorley town centre is set up for the future and retains its identity as Lancashire’s market town with a wide variety of independent traders.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We want to be ambitious for Chorley and give the residents of the whole borough a town centre that they can be proud of and provide a place where they want to spend their leisure time and do their shopping rather than going to neighbouring towns and cities.

“As a local authority, rather than a private investor whose interests may lie elsewhere, we have been able to put together plans, which should benefit everyone in the town centre by increasing footfall and keeping money within the town.

“The idea behind the scheme is that it will complement the variety of independent traders we already have but introduce new retailers and a leisure offer including a cinema and restaurants that people keep telling us they want to see in Chorley.”

The £17m investment will include £12.6m for the Market Walk extension and associated works and a further £4m being put towards improving the public realm.

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 – negotiations are at advanced stages for 79 per cent of the development.

“The next few years will see some of the most dramatic changes ever seen in the town centre with the Market Walk and town centre improvements, the creation of the new youth zone and the retirement village on Fleet Street,” said Councillor Bradley.

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. If approved the extension could be open by summer/autumn 2018.