Sports Direct signs in Chorley 

The sporting goods retailer has agreed to take 7,600 sq ft on a 10-year lease within the £17m extension of the Market Walk retail complex in Chorley. 

Fashion store USC will occupy 800 sq ft of the store at the council-owned shopping centre.  The firms are both part of Frasers Group, which expects the store to open this winter. 

Other occupiers at the Market Walk extension, which completed in 2019, include M&S Foodhall, Reel Cinema and Escape Entertainment, an indoor entertainment venue featuring ten pin bowling and mini golf. The council is also in advanced talks with a restaurant group. 

Cllr Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We’re excited to welcome Sports Direct and USC to Chorley and look forward to the store’s opening before the end of the year. 

“The addition of Sports Direct and USC will be another boost for our town centre. People have said they’d like to see more clothes shops in Chorley, and this will help provide this offer. 

“Big brand names like this, combined with our existing traders, will attract people to Chorley town centre instead shopping out of town.” 

A spokesman for Frasers Group said: “This is a major part of Sports Direct’s brand elevation strategy that will see a huge investment in a number of new stores, while upgrading and improving existing ones across the UK.” 

Chorley Council bought the shopping centre from Orchard Street Investments for £23m in 2013 and commenced a large-scale regeneration scheme in 2018 involving a 79,000 sq ft retail and leisure extension led by main contractor Eric Wright Group and designed by AEW Architects. 

Conrad Heald, commercial and assets lead for Chorley Council said the extension had saved the town from “stagnation”.

He said: “Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, tenants were all thriving and residents flocked to the new facility and, more importantly, new customers came to the town centre.

“This was our intention from the outset, so it was satisfying to see it come to fruition. We aimed to provide quality large-format retail and leisure, different from what was on offer before, and that is what we achieved.”

Knight Frank and LTL Property Consultants are letting agents for the Market Walk extension.

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