Council urges shoppers to back vibrant town centre

Councillor Peter Wilson outside the former McDonald's site, where four new units are being built
Councillor Peter Wilson outside the former McDonald's site, where four new units are being built

Council bosses have urged people across Chorley to shop locally and support the “vibrant” town centre.

Improving the town centre is one of the key aims of Chorley Council.

More than £1m will be invested in the town centre in the coming year to add to the improvements that have already been made.

It comes as the Chorley Guardian launches its Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local campaign to encourage people to use their town centres.

Coun Peter Wilson, deputy council leader, said: “I’d urge people to support their local businesses and if we spend money locally with our independent stores, it will stay local and support other business too.”

Changes made include the council buying Market Walk shopping precinct, which has already seen its footfall increase.

Traders have welcomed the re-opening of Market Street to traffic and the creation of 26 free parking spaces, while other parking charges have been reduced.

A credit union shop has been set up, the White Hart pub reopened and Chorley’s covered market is now full.

In the coming months, four new units will open on the former McDonald’s site, on Market Street, and work will start on the new Asda site.

More events are planned for the town centre, to attract people during the day and night, and entrances for people on foot will be improved, such as the Steeley Lane underpass and the alleyway by Argos.

The council is also identifying how the town centre can be improved in future and will launch a marketing campaign for Market Walk and the town centre to encourage people to shop there.

Coun Wilson said: “The impression some people have is that town is full of empty shops but when you look around now, with the improvements that are being made, there are only a small number of places empty and we are putting incentives in place and pressure on the landlords to get those filled and to tidy up the shops that look a bit of a mess.

“By taking a stake in our town centre with the purchase of Market Walk and redevelopment of the former McDonald’s site we can influence what types of shops we bring in to build on the great selection of independent stores that we already have.”