THE FUTURE of Burnley’s main shopping centre has been secured after a number of high street giants signed renewal leases.

Fashion store River Island and WH Smith’s are among the retailers which have announced they will stay at the site for the next ten years.

River Island is to take on one of the new units in the Market Square area, which are being increased in size as part of the redevelopment of that area of the centre.

Coun Julie Cooper, leader of Burnley Council, said: “This is really excellent news and will strengthen our shopping offer.

“We are working hard to increase footfall in the town centre in these difficult trading conditions and the best way to do that is to get more and better shops.”

WH Smith have agreed to relocate from their existing Market Square unit to a new place at The Mall.

Joint letting agent, Patrick Keenan, said: “The recent signings demonstrate the renewed and growing confidence retailers have in Charter Walk and Burnley.

“The signing of River Island for a new unit within the proposed redevelopment of Market Square as well as the signing of NEXT demonstrates the positive direction Charter Walk is moving towards, with retailers keen to be part of this.”

The new NEXT store, which will be 20,000 sq ft, is set to open in the first week of December.

Steve Rumbelow, chief executive of Burnley Council, said: “We have a great working relationship with Addington Capital who have worked really hard to develop the town centre.

“Together we will continue to drive an improved shopping offer.”