Ambitious plans for Charter Walk modernisation
Owners Addington Capital revealed the plans this week as it opened a public exhibition over the future make-up of the shopping centre.
The ambitious plan will focus on the facade of the Market Hall, centering on the removal of the huge outdoor staircase and the bringing forward of shop fronts on the ground below to create a more modern, open feel.
At present, the retail units are located underneath the walkway serving the Market Hall and the shop units above, which the owners makes them less attractive to shopper and tenants.
The proposals include the creation of a new staircase and lift to the Market Hall above, in place of the existing staircase which opens out directly onto Market Square.
The owners believe this will immediately create an enlarged open space, vastly improving the overall look and feel of the square.
The existing shop fronts would also be replaced with high quality new materials, and relocated in line with the canopy above.
A spokesman for Addington Capital said: “We are keen to attract new businesses and tenants into Charter Walk Shopping Centre, creating more choice for shoppers and supporting the local economy.
“Our proposals will create up to five new units of varying sizes, which would be suitable for a range of uses including food and drink, as well as retail shops, boosting the attractiveness of the units for potential tenants.
“We have already been working hard to improve the offer at Charter Walk and attract new tenants. Work on a new Primark store is already under way.”
Following Tuesday’s public exhibition, a formal planning application will be submitted to Burnley Borough Council.
The council will then consider the proposals, alongside any comments received, and make a final decision.
Should it be approved, Addington would seek to start work as soon as possible.
The spokesman added: “Addington Capital is committed to supporting the existing tenants of Charter Walk, and these proposals are designed to bring more shoppers to Market Square, benefiting all the existing shops in this area.
“The enhanced square will encourage people to spend time here and make the centre a more attractive location, while boosting the number of high quality retail units which will improve Charter Walk’s credentials as a shopping location.”
The spokesman went on to say that disruption during the works will be kept to a minimum, and its management team will be on hand to answer any concerns tenants or shoppers may have.
Addington Capital said its close partnership working with Burnley Council would contribute to the economic growth of the borough and that these plans would complement the recent improvement works carried out in St James’s Street.
The spokesman added: “Burnley Council has been working hard to promote and improve the town centre, in turn increasing footfall and supporting economic growth.
“Our proposals are in line with the council’s aspirations.
“The proposals ultimately seek to bring more shoppers into Burnley, combating a national trend towards online shopping and a drop in town centre footfall.
“By improving the quality of Charter Walk, we also intend to attract new occupiers that will create jobs, invest in the town and contribute to the local economy.
“We have been working closely with the council over many years to ensure that Charter Walk is a success and we look forward to continuing to build on this relationship to support economic growth in Burnley.”