An entertainment operator is in line to take 17,000 sq ft at the shopping centre redevelopment in the town centre, joining Reel Cinemas to boost Chorley’s leisure offering.
After announcing its intention to take the space in June this year, Escape Entertainment has progressed with plans to open a six-lane bowling alley, 18-hole adventure golf course, virtual reality games, and a restaurant and bar over 16,500 sq ft on Market Walk’s first floor.
Escape Entertainment already operates the Cheeky Monkeys Family Entertainment centre in Whittle-le-Woods, and the deal will leave Chorley’s Market Walk extension more than 70% full in terms of floorspace and half full in terms of units.
AEW is the architect for the project, which will see a new six-screen Reel cinema, a two-storey car park, restaurants, retail, and public realm improvements all added to Market Walk, which is owned by Chorley Council. A planning application for a change-of-use from retail to leisure to accommodate Escape Entertainment has now been put forward to the council.
Market Walk will also include an M&S Foodhall after the retailer committed in August last year to open a store at the site; it had previously threatened to pull out of the scheme as part of its ongoing drive to close outlets across the country.
Eric Wright is the main contractor and broke ground on the scheme in October 2018.
A £17m funding package for the Market Walk extension was first agreed by Chorley Council in September 2016; despite work getting under way slightly behind schedule, the council is still aiming to have the extension open by Christmas 2019.