IT’S a long-awaited announcement that will whet many an appetite - Nando’s IS coming to Wigan.
Having been one of very few towns not to have a branch of their restaurants, bosses at the popular chain have confirmed their intentions to the Evening Post.
But cards are being kept very close to the chest regarding the whereabouts of the new eatery.
Speculation is now rife that the preferred location will be the town centre Tower Grand site, due to start construction later this year.
Nando’s bosses revealed that an opening date is set for next year, which effectively rules out the restaurant being part of the planned redevelopment of The Galleries which is not due to begin within the next 12 months.
A spokesman for the Portuguese-style chicken cuisine chain said: “We’re delighted to announce Nando’s will be opening a restaurant in Wigan next year.
“We will be releasing more details as soon as they are available.”
The Tower Grand site, the postponed final stage of the Grand Arcade development, will include an 80-bed hotel plus retail units bringing with it dozens of job opportunities.
It is hoped that it will prove to be a real fillip for the local economy, keeping Wigan town centre “alive after five”.
A hotelier has been secured for the site - although details are yet to be announced - with developers currently working to secure lets for the restaurant and retail units.
A spokesman for developers Scarborough Group said last month: “All of our efforts are now being focused on securing retail and leisure occupiers for the ground floor of the development.
“These will need to be pre-let before proceeding any further but all of the bits are falling into place and a major announcement for this exciting new complex in Wigan is expected in the near future.”
Nando’s was said to be one of “two or three” parties interested in taking over the now vacant Sharpy’s restaurant next to the DW Stadium.
But this week’s announcement has quashed that possibility, as the Evening Post understands that the new Nando’s will be a new build site rather than taking over an existing facility.