A SHOPPING centre extension helped to boost a town’s Christmas trade ‘massively’, town hall bosses have said.

Reports on Chorley’s Market Walk footfall show that town centre visitor numbers rose sharply in December.

Around 40,000 visitors passed through Market Walk and the town centre in the two days prior to Christmas Day 2019, which is the highest recorded since 2016, prior to the Market Walk extension developments.

Three new town centre businesses within the Market Walk extension ­— Marks and Spencer Foodhall, Escape entertainment venue and Reel Cinema ­— all recently opened.

Cllr Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said the openings had a ‘massive’ effect.

He said: “One of our aims when we developed the Market Walk extension was to attract more visitors to Chorley town centre with a variety of offerings. It’s fantastic to see this becoming a reality.”

Early December saw an increase of over six per cent in the Market Walk area of the town, however footfall figures continued to grow even further during the rest of December 2019.

The week beginning December 16 saw 104,740 visitors in Market Walk, with the increase expected to continue as more businesses move in. 

National restaurant chain, Loungers, are set to open the doors of Calico Lounge on January 15 in the stand-alone unit at the development on Union Street.