Chorley Council has appointed Eric Wright Group to begin in the New Year on a £17m extension to the Market Walk shopping centre, and said it is in legal negotiations on pre-lets for 80% of the space.
Market Walk will get a seven-unit extension totaling 73,000 sq ft with the aim of bringing a new cinema, high street retailers and restaurants to the town.
Lambert Smith Hampton and Mason & Partners are the joint agents.
Reel Cinemas is the anchor tenant, and while the council is yet to announce the retail occupiers, it said that deals had been agreed on 80% of the floorspace.
When planning permission was granted last October for the AEW Architects-designed scheme, the council said it wouldn’t start construction until the scheme was 75% pre-let.
Cllr Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, which owns the shopping centre, said: “We have one of the fastest growing populations in the North West and are ideally located on the axis of the M6, M61 and M65 motorways so we have had a lot of interest in the units.
“We’re anticipating starting work on site in the New Year with roughly 80% of the floor space signed up on pre-lets, and once we announce the tenants in the next few weeks we expect the remaining units will be filled very quickly.”
The £17m investment will include £12.6m for the Market Walk extension and associated works and a further £4m being put towards improving the public realm.
The extension will be built next to the existing 34-unit shopping centre.