FRESH life is being breathed into Accrington’s former 1st Bowl bringing more than 50 jobs and two new firms to the town.
The site at The Viaduct on Hyndburn Road, empty for more than two years, will be home to Farmfoods and Domino’s Pizza by the summer.
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Its owners Globe Enterprises hope to fill a third unit shortly afterwards.
The move has been welcomed by Hyndburn Council’s Labour leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson and his Tory counterpart Cllr Tony Dobson, as a big boost to the town and the borough.
In September 2013, the bowling alley closed suddenly because of falling custom and despite hopes it could be revived, it never has.
Since then Globe, a public and private partnership involving Hyndburn Council and Nelson’s Barnfield Construction, has been seeking new occupants.
Now Farmfoods has signed up for 8,000 square feet and Domino’s are finishing the legal process to take 1,300 square feet and have applied to borough planners for permission for their illuminated signs.
Both are new to Accrington and the borough and have been council targets to move in for some months.
Barnfield Construction is currently on site stripping out and converting the former bowling centre to make way for the new occupants. The site is adjacent to the existing VUE Cinema and McDonalds ‘drive-thru’ creating a revived leisure and retail complex.
Barnfield anticipates a hand over to Farmfoods during March to start fit out works with the new store expected to open in May. Domino’s opening is expected to follow shortly after.
A Globe Enterprises spokesman said: “The recent lettings are a real coup for Accrington and once the scheme is fully occupied it is anticipated 50 plus new jobs will be created within the borough.
“A further 11,500 square feet of space is available immediately and would suit both retail or leisure operators either as a single unit or by splitting the space.”
Cllr Parkinson, a director of Glove Enterprises, said: “This is welcome news for a key site in Accrington."
Cllr Dobson said: “I'm pleased to see a new use of this vacant landmark site."
Parking will be available on land once occupied by a now-demolished working men’s club and Indian restaurant.
1st Bowl’s parent company Garland Leisure suddenly shut the Hyndburn Road site for good on September 28 2013 despite reprieving it from closure the previous year and promising it had a long-term future.