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Nando’s set to spice up St Helens town centre
6:31pm Tuesday 12th February 2013 in News
ST HELENS town centre could be boosted by the arrival of national restaurant chain Nando’s.
The company has drawn up plans to develop an empty bar which forms part of the St Helens Leisure Park, at the corner of Chalon Way West and Water Street.
The two floor corner building, which a decade ago was occupied by Yates’s and more recently by the Hour Glass bar, adjoins the Cineworld cinema and Running Horses pub.
Nando’s, the Portuguese-themed chicken restaurant chain, has enjoyed considerable growth in the UK in recent years and reportedly has more than 300 restaurants nationwide.
A lack of big name national restaurant chains in St Helens is often cited as negative by those Star readers who criticise the town centre.
Its arrival is also likely to please at least some locally based professional rugby league players, who regularly turn to Twitter to extol the virtues of Nando’s chicken dishes.
The development, to change the vacant bar to a restaurant does not require planning permission.
It merely has to secure the green light to install a new shop front, external alterations and advertisement branding.
The likely investment comes shortly after McDonald’s was given permission to build a two-storey drive-thru at Chalon Way next to the Range store.
The new McDonalds, which will be third in the town, has divided opinion because it is increasing the fast food offer in a town that has an obesity problem.
However, it is creating 65 new jobs and Nando’s will also bring employment opportunities, although numbers are not known at this time.
Along with the arrival of the Range, which opened last autumn, it means there has been a significant investment in Chalon Way.
Regeneration chiefs remain hopeful of attracting leisure companies to the nearby St Thomas’ Square site, which has been earmarked for redevelopment for a decade.