Shopping centre extension plans are moving forward

How Market Walk shopping centre could look
How Market Walk shopping centre could look

Progress is being made on bringing retailers and restaurants to a £12.9m development in Chorley.

Council bosses pledged that building work would not start on the extension to Market Walk shopping centre until they had signed up tenants for 75 per cent or more of the development.

Planning permission was granted in September and legal discussions were then taking place for 26 per cent of the development.

That has now risen to 55 per cent, with a further 28 per cent in negotiations.

It means just one of the seven units has no firm interest, but it is expected that will be filled once other tenants are announced.

Chorley Council has not yet revealed which firms will move into the extended Market Walk, but they do hope to secure well-known high street stores and restaurants.

Coun Alistair Bradley, council leader, said: “I’m delighted that things are progressing but we are still aiming to get the best deal and the best offer for Chorley.

“Sometimes we have to keep talking to people and keep negotiating and hold out for the best deal and we are contiuing to do that.”

The extension is expected to house restaurants and shops, with Reel Cinema already committing to opening a six-screen complex.

Work is taking place to identify new town centre car parking spaces, with a new free car park already opening on Cleveland Street before Christmas on the site of the former Amalfi restaurant, which had been derelict since a fire in 2012.

Over the coming months, the council will develop plans for relocating staff parking and carry out further consultation on the temporary relocation of the Flat Iron market.