A COUNCILLOR has welcomed the creation of “important” new jobs after planners allowed a failed social club to become the borough’s latest fast food restaurant.
Burger giant McDonald’s won approval to transform the semi-derelict Upper Morris Street Club site after agreeing to drop a bid for 24 hour operation.
They also conceded smaller signage for the famous golden ‘M’ along with measures to shield neighbouring pensioners’ flats from traffic noise.
After the decision, Wigan central councillor Mike McLoughlin, who had originally formally objected, said that Wigan, in common with most other North West towns, was now “desperate” to attract new jobs.
When the drive-through is ready to serve its first Big Mac, he pointed out, more than 40 full-time equivalent staff positions would have been created.
He said: “Even that figure is not necessarily the end of the matter because similar sized McDonald’s elsewhere, once they become established, have been known to employ 50 more staff than that with whole-time equivalent jobs in the mid-60s.
“It will be offering permanent jobs for Wiganers to apply for and the firm also has a commitment to personnel development and training.
“By most standards McDonald’s is a blue-chip firm, so the job security on offer is likely to be as good as that offered by any other employer in Wigan. And I also believe that it is McDonald’s intention to pay a level of wage significantly above the national minimum wage at a level that meets with the decent living standard.”
But fellow Wigan Central Coun George Davies is calling for the council to make sure that traffic safety measures planned for Greenough Street are put in place first before the McDonald’s is allowed to open.
He remains “quite concerned” about the effect the burger restaurant will have on Regency Court pensioners’ flats and will seek guarantees to monitor noise levels.