M&S bid to open Leigh department store

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ONE of the high street’s most famous names could be on its way to Leigh after a planning application was submitted to Wigan Council.

Marks and Spencer may be moving into an empty unit on the Parsonage Retail Park in the town, in the adjacent unit to the new Sainsbury’s supermarket, after planning permission was requested from the local authority.

The application is lodged by property developers the Brookhouse Group and calls for a mezzanine floor to be built in the unit measuring up to 465 square metres.

The developers’ access and design statement says that the floorspace is being constructed “to be used specifically by the intended incoming tenant to the unit, Marks and Spencer, in order for the retailer to trade its Simply Food format.”

However, the statement also makes clear that the proposed building work is not going to be part of the potential future store’s trading area.

The area covered by the proposals runs across two units of the Parsonage site, with the internal floorspace to be built in one of them.

There will be no external work carried out as part of the proposed construction project, and the units will not be extended in any way.

However, the company have said they are unable to confirm or deny whether they will be opening a store in Leigh.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We are always looking to ensure that we can offer the very best for our customers but don’t have anything to comment on at this stage.”

Rumours have suggested that Marks and Spencer will be moving to Leigh for some time as part of the ongoing regeneration of the town centre.

Recent developments include the building of The Loom, with a cinema, Tesco supermarket and several restaurants, on the site of the former Barlo radiator works, and the first stage of the construction of the Parsonage units involving building a new Sainsbury’s store.