Contractor Eric Wright is due to start on Chorley’s £16m Market Walk extension, which includes a cinema, restaurants, and retail, with the council aiming to complete the scheme by late 2019.
The project had been subject to a potential delay after anchor tenant M&S said it could be “reconsidering its plans” to open a store at the site, but the council has now signed off the proposals allowing work to start on site in the coming months.
Leader of Chorley Council Cllr Alistair Bradley said last year the council would still push on with the project even if M&S backed out, and added any possible delays would allow the council to “think again” about what sort of tenants it would look to attract to the project.
Alongside a cinema, which will be operated by Reel, the extension includes a two-storey car park, restaurants, retail, and improvements to public realm. The units range between 1,000 sq ft and 5,600 sq ft in size, and the scheme is set to open in time for Christmas 2019. AEW is the architect.
A £17m funding package for Market Walk was signed off in September 2016. Construction work is expected to start in the summer.
Bradley said: “We were really keen to see this development go ahead as it will set our town centre up for the future.
“It is a sign of the confidence people have in investing in Chorley that we can now progress the scheme, which is one of three major developments in our town centre sitting alongside a 65-bed retirement village and world-class youth zone.
“We already have Reel Cinemas anchoring the Market Walk extension and terms have been agreed with a number of other occupiers and the main build will start in the summer.”
Eric Wright will work as main contractor alongside project manager Pick Everard. Lambert Smith Hampton and K2 Retail area letting agents for the scheme.