Work is due to start this week on 65 apartments for older people in Chorley town centre, being directly delivered by Chorley Council.
The scheme aimed at over-55s is being built on the former long-stay car park in Fleet Street. Contractors are due to move on site on Wednesday to do preparation work prior to the demolition of the old Ambulance Hall and the former Primrose Cottage, after which the development will be named.
Eric Wright Construction is the contractor on the scheme, which has been designed by Brewster Bye Architects.
The complex will provide 47 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom apartments for affordable rent. There will be care support if needed and a café, laundrette, community room, hair salon and a dance hall, where two local dance schools – Dance with Passion and Anita Murray School of Dancing – will also be based.
Jason Parkinson from Dance with Passion said: “We are delighted there will be a sprung floor in the new complex so that we will be able to continue with our classes in Chorley. In the meantime, we are running our classes in The Lancastrian at Chorley Town Hall during the construction of Primrose Gardens.”
Anita Murray who has run her dance school in Chorley since 1969 said: “It promises to be very exciting once the new development is complete with mirrors, barres and suitable dance flooring – couldn’t ask for anything more really! In the meantime our team of experienced, friendly staff are offering the classes that were in the Ambulance Hall at Astley Village Community Centre instead, and we also have classes at St Michael’s High School’s dance studio.”
Cllr Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council leader, added: “We appreciate that car parking is going to be one of the biggest issues while this and other works are going on in the town centre, but we are actively working on creating new spaces. Indeed, so far we have created a new car park on Cleveland Street and opened up a car park on Hollinshead Street to the public which has plenty of spaces available for parking.
“But what is important is that the scheme will not only provide much-needed affordable accommodation for older people in the town who may need extra care and support later in life, it will also bring residential areas back into the town centre which is part of our town centre masterplan. And it will also generate much-needed income for the council which is vital with the cuts in central government funding, that can be spent on providing services to our residents.”