New shops for McDonald’s site

Artist's impression of the former McDonalds site in Chorley.
Artist's impression of the former McDonalds site in Chorley.

A landmark site that has been a Chorley town centre eyesore for the last decade will be transformed by the end of the year.

A new set of shops will spring up at the former McDonald’s store on Market Street.

The plans have been put forward by Chorley Council which sees the proposed new development as a boost to the southern end of the street.

The council – which bought the former burger restaurant and adjacent buildings to bring the site to life – is now advertising for businesses interested in taking one of the four new units.

The plan would see the end unit, adjacent to Gillibrand Street, demolished and the other buildings refurbished and split into the new units.

Council leader Alistair Bradley said: “We are keen to support the local economy by having a vibrant town centre.

“The former McDonald’s site has been empty for a long time and has been a real blot on the landscape giving a bad impression.

“As we didn’t own the site there wasn’t a lot we could do about it, so we took the initiative and were able to buy the site, which gives us control over what happens to it.”

The new units will be of varying sizes and grants will be available to assist with fitting out, signage and business rates subsidies are possible.

“A lot of people say that high rents can put people off opening shop units so the fact we own the building means we can set them at a more affordable rate for businesses,” added Coun Bradley.

“It also gives us a say as to which businesses we will give preference to so we will be looking to get ones which will complement what’s already in the town centre, particularly the types of businesses we don’t already have.”

Malcolm Allen, chairman of Chorley Traders’ Alliance, welcomed the development and said: “It’s good news that these units are becoming available at reasonable rents.”

Mr Allen, who runs Malcolm’s Musicland, Chapel Street, added: “It can breathe a bit of life into that end of town and the advantage is they are surrounded by car parking facilities.

“It’s a golden opportunity for anyone wanting to go into business.”

The work is scheduled for completion by the end of the year with businesses then ready to move in.