WORK to extend a Lancashire shopping centre will start in October with construction firm Eric Wright carrying out the £12 million development.
Shopping centre owners Chorley Council has been working on plans to extend Market Walk for a number of years with the diggers set to roll in this/next month.
The eight-unit development will see a M&S Foodhall, six-screen Reel Cinema, restaurants and other new businesses come to the growing market town.
John Wilson of Eric Wright Construction, said: “As a local contractor we are extremely proud to be delivering this scheme with Chorley Council and look forward to getting the main build underway. It offers a modern two-storey extension to the existing shopping centre which will become a major feature within the town.
“The scheme complements a lot of other work taking place to improve the appearance of Chorley town centre, such as the Primrose Gardens retirement village we are also constructing on Fleet Street.
“Chorley Council is working hard to provide a long term future for the town and we are pleased to be a part of it.”
The council has worked closely with Eric Wright group on preparing the town centre for the changes with a new decked car park, the demolition of buildings to create a new single level car park and major public realm improvements to match the new developments with the rest of the town centre.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are really excited now we are ready to start the main construction and this development will be a key factor in giving our town centre a long term future.
“While many other town centres are struggling we are one of a few that is continuing to do well because of our mix of independent traders and the popular markets, which gives us a unique offer.
“To get M&S to open a new store here while they are closing in other places is a real coup and it shows the confidence that some of the biggest names have in what we are doing and it will undoubtedly bring new people into the town centre.
“Interest is firming up in the remaining units now we’ve got two major tenants signed up and work is about to start on the ground.”
The existing 35-unit Market Walk shopping centre has been fully occupied for much of the time since the council bought it in 2013 and sits in the heart of the town centre adjacent to the markets and bus and rail interchange.