THE long-awaited redevelopment of the centre of a market town is due to start in early 2013.
Booths has announced it will be starting work on the Teanlowe Centre in Poulton in just a few months time, after plans to revamp the mall were approved by Wyre Council last week.
The announcement comes after Booths secured full ownership of the shopping mall from previous owners the Co-op Group.
The North West based retailer is investing around £20m in revamping the centre and adding a new Booths store, more than twice the size of the current Ball Street store.
Booths Property Director Graham Booth said: “We are delighted that after many years of work we have finally got the green light to create the food store Poulton deserves.
“I would like to express my wholehearted gratitude to the local community who have helped to make this possible by sending over 700 letters to the Council. Public support for the project has been quite extraordinary.”
The redevelopment will begin with a makeover of the existing mall running from the car park, accessible from Ball Street and Queen Street, to the Market Place.
The area between the car park and Blackpool Old Road will then be demolished to allow for the construction of the new food store with a cafe.
Mr Booth added: “The redevelopment will enable the revival of the town centre which has become somewhat neglected due to a large proportion of retail trade taking place elsewhere.
“We hope this project will see Poulton’s shoppers do the majority of their shopping locally and bring even more retail trade back into the town centre.”
It is expected the work will create 80 new jobs, adding to the existing 70 people already employed by the Ball Street store.
The redevelopment of Poulton’s town centre has been a topic of debate for years with plans also submitted to Wyre Council for an Asda store to be built on the existing Market Hall site with the former Village Walks being rebuilt across the car park.
Amanda Holmes, head of communications for Dransfield Properties Limited which has submitted the Asda plan, said: “Our planning application for Poulton town centre is with Wyre Council and we are hopeful it will be determined in the next few weeks. We have always maintained both schemes can compliment each other and work side by side to bring forward the regeneration of the town centre.”