Asda’s delayed new Chorley superstore is now beginning to take shape.
Work on the 44,000 sq ft store – on the former QS Fashions site at the corner of Bolton Street, Pall Mall and Market Street – began in March.
Part of the metal framework of the building can now be seen on the town’s skyline.
Philip Bartram, Asda senior property communications manager, said this week: “It’s all on track. We are opening November this year.”
He said the developers had not encountered any construction probelms.
“It’s a substantial store, but something we’re quite experienced at,” he said.
And he added Asda’s two existing Chorley stores – the large one at Clayton Brook and the much smaller supermarket on the Chorley bypass – were staying, saying they “carry on trading - we find our offer is very popular.”
When the store is ready, Mr Bartram said the firm would turn to someone in the community – as opposed to a celebrity – for the official launch.
“We prefer to get someone loca to help with the opening,” he said. “Maybe someone who has done a lot of charity work, or something of that nature.”
The new store, which is set to create up to 400 new jobs, will have a petrol filling station and 440-space car park.
Asda will work closely with Jobcentre Plus to target job seekers, especially the long-term unemployed, when recruitment takes place about three months before opening.
Mr Bartram said: “We are very pleased to be starting the works on site, after what we appreciate has been a delay for all parties involved.
“People in Chorley have been patient while certain aspects of the scheme have been finalised, not least the many hundreds of Asda supporters who have remained so vocal and passionate in favour of the plans throughout the planning process.”
Meanwhile, Chorley’s iconic Big Lamp structure is being relocated to a pedestrianised area on the corner of Market Street as the roundabout where it currently stands will be developed into a traffic light junction.
Located close to the Big Lamp Chippy on the junction, the famous structure will be surrounded by benches allowing visitors to make use of it as a social meeting point.
The relocation comes as Chorley Council work on renovations to Market Street in preparation for the opening of the new store.