VISITORS to Chorley’s Flat Iron car park will notice some changes from today (Monday 10 April) as preparation ground work begins for the extension to Market Walk shopping centre.

Although work on building the extension to Market Walk will not start until later in the year, Chorley Council has commissioned contractors, Eric Wright, to reconfigure the Flat Iron car park in phases to ensure everything is in place for construction to begin.

The preparation work will take place on the far side of the Flat Iron car park, close to the corner of Union Street and the bypass and will involve removing lamp columns and the island that contains the current Market Walk sign as well as installing drainage for the extension. 

Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “The Market Walk extension is a massive project for the town centre and it inevitably involves some extensive preparation work before we officially start to build.

“If you’ve visited recently, you may have noticed some markings on the floor and these outline where the new building will go and the kerb lines for the new parking and pavement.

“This phase of the work will unfortunately take up approximately 40 car park spaces but we opened up the Hollinshead Street car park, behind the council’s Union Street office, with 54 spaces late last year to offset this.  We are also working on introducing more car parking spaces elsewhere in the town centre and we will let everyone know when we have more news on this.”

The next phase of the pre-construction work will start at the beginning of May when the entire Flat Iron Tuesday market will move to the opposite end of the Flat Iron car park before relocating along Chapel Street, Cleveland Street and Fazakerley Street from June onwards. 

The work to reconfigure the Flat Iron car park is being done in phases to minimise the disruption and ensure as many parking spaces as possible are still available. 

Drivers are being advised that they will start to see some changes to the layout of the Flat Iron car park and the council is encouraging them to start using nearby car parks, like Hollinshead Street, where possible.

“We’re asking people to bear with us while this work is ongoing and to continue to visit and shop in the town centre,” added Coun Bradley.

“When the redevelopment of the town centre is complete, people will see a retail and leisure offer that builds upon the fantastic independent traders that we already have in town.  The council is investing £17 million in the town centre with the aim of supporting and developing the local economy through revitalising the town centre.”