Business leaders in Chorley are being invited for a ‘sneaky peek’ as work progresses to transform a former derelict site in the heart of the town centre into shops.

The council, which bought the former McDonald’s site in November 2012, is holding an ‘open lunch’ event on site between noon and 2pm on Wednesday, January 22 to show its potential to prospective tenants.

The site on Market Street had lain derelict for around a decade before the council bought it and the land behind, which was then cleared and resurfaced to create a free car park for shoppers to the town.

The building is now undergoing a £363,000 complete refurbishment to create three new retail units and a kiosk for rent.

The end unit at the junction with Gillibrand Street has now been demolished and a kiosk will be built with a paved area in front. The rest of the block will become three retail units and the whole frontage will be reclad.

A service yard will also be created at the back and work will also be done on the car park at the back, and the neighbouring Fleet Street car park.

Deputy leader of Chorley Council, Councillor Peter Wilson, who is also responsible for the town centre, said: “We’ve had interest from potential tenants, however we wanted to invite local business people to come and have a look at the potential of these units.

“Obviously they are not quite ready yet, but there will be exhibition boards showing the internal plans of each of the units plus an artist’s impression of how the finished development will look.

“There will also be a chance for people to speak to our officers on site about the units over refreshments.”