CHRISTMAS has come early for Chorley shoppers.
A prime town centre car park has been opened up by the council for the festive period.
The 70-space car park - free for two hours - is aimed at boosting Christmas trade and enticing people into the town centre.
Chorley Council quickly transformed wasteland at the back of the former McDonald’s store on Gillibrand Street into the car park after buying the site earlier in the month.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s important that we support local businesses in the run up to Christmas and after purchasing the eyesore site we wanted to get to work straightaway and make a difference in the town centre.
“We’ve removed all the shrubbery at the back and put down a temporary surface so it can be used as a car park in the run up to Christmas.
“We’ve decided to allow people to park for free up to two hours so people wanting to visit town can do so without having to pay.
“It complements the free parking on all our town centre car parks after 1pm on Saturdays and was open in time for the Christmas lights switch on.”
The temporary car park is accessed through the Fleet Street car park and people don’t need to display any tickets, they can just park up and get straight on with their shopping.
Proposals have just been approved in principle by councillors to refurbish two of the buildings adjacent to the temporary car park into four new retail units and demolish the end unit, which was most recently a furniture store.
“One of our priorities is to create a vibrant town centre and to do this we need to get the empty units that attract anti social behaviour and give a bad impression of the town back into use,” said Councillor Bradley.
“We’re making this happen by buying up the former McDonald’s site and working directly with other developers to get work progressing on other high profile areas such as the Asda development.
“We hope that people will make use of the free temporary Christmas car park and also support our local traders by shopping in Chorley.”