New Argos to open in Sainsbury’s Westhoughton store

A new branch of Argos will open inside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Westhoughton.

Some 20,000 products will be available the same day using the company’s click-and-collect service.

A spokesman from Sainsbury’s, which bought the Argos business in 2016, said there will also be a home delivery service as well as an eBay collection point.

They said: “Sainsbury’s has been part of the local community for a number of years and we are thrilled to welcome Argos to our store.

“It’s great news for our customers who are looking for easier and more convenient ways to shop.”

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “It will not be as big as a purpose-built Argos store but it will have stock and a pick-up point.

“People will be pleased to have an Argos close to us — the nearest ones are in Middlebrook and in Bolton at the moment.

“Sainsbury’s is obviously trying to maximise the square footage they have got. It is about smart business but it is something that will be beneficial for the community.

“It will be quite a bonus for shoppers as it will be easier to get to.”

THREE new shops to be built on Market Street

Three new shops are to be built on Market Street at the old snooker hall site.

The shops will be built on the derelict land next to The Beer School – but it almost never happened!

Shortsighted Labour councillors in Westhoughton previously APPROVED plans for houses on the site. One Labour councillor even said you would be “living in cloud cuckoo land” if you thought businesses would want to open in Westhoughton.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson, who is proud to back our town’s independent businesses, welcomed the news that shops would be built on the site instead.

Councillor David Wilkinson at the Gaiety site

Councillor David Wilkinson at the Gaiety site

David said: “This is brilliant news. Our town centre is booming and it’s great to see that we will have even more shops opening. We should be very proud of what is happening in Westhoughton.”

Town councillor Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon added: “I love our high street. There’s a real buzz about it now and that’s all down to local people opening businesses and residents getting behind them.”


Westhoughton’s newest restaurant has opened – and everyone loves it

The Kitchen is the newest restaurant to open in Westhoughton – and we already LOVE it.

The new Market Street restaurant is Greek-inspired, with feta and olives coming straight from Greece, but meats and vegetables being locally sourced in Bolton.

Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson, who attended the launch party, said: “I love what they’ve done with the place and I wish them all the best.”

These are some of the five-star reviews since it opened last week:

A group of 7 of us dined at The Kitchen last night and will certainly be visiting again. Every single dish was delicious. I’m not usually a Courgette fan but the Courgette balls are something else! Converted. Had the Chicken Souvlaki for mains and never wanted it to end! And the Tzatziki is up there with the best i’ve tried! Friendly staff, cosy decor, reasonable prices and excellent food. We’ll be back!!
– Hope Cooper

And they even won over this Greek food sceptic:

I was sooo sceptical with the whole greek food as I’m so fussy!! The chicken was the best thing I’ve ate in ages, loved the skewers!! It was delicious. I will definitely be bringing my other half back!! Great atmosphere, Great hosts!! I love it all. Well done on making such a great place!!! Sending love Sam & Marilyn xxx
– Samie Jane Hodgkiss

The Kitchen Westhoughton

This diner thought it was a fantastic little find:

Dined at this fantastic little find last night. It was amazing. The food was to die for,the atmosphere was authentic and Nikki the host and Ode the chef made everyone so welcome. Will be visiting again soon
– Sandra Derbyshire

And there’s just something incredible about that courgette starter it seems:

I dined last night which was opening night with my husband, the atmosphere was fabulous, very authentic – Rustic Greek feel but very tasteful decor. The staff were lovely. The food was delicious especially the courgette starter! We really wish you & your team every success.
– Angela Maguire

And Sue will be coming back again soon:

We went on opening night and the food was delicious and the service was excellent.
Highly recommended and we will be coming back on a regular basis.
Well done!!!
– Sue Churchouse

The Kitchen has opened at 93 Market Street. Book a table by calling 01942 574743.

This Labour councillor’s comments about Westhoughton will make you mad

A Labour councillor in Westhoughton has claimed people are “living in cloud cuckoo land” if they think new businesses would want to open in Westhoughton.

The comments by town councillor Gillian Williams fly in the face of successful recent new openings in the town centre including The Beer School, Koo cafe bar and The Card Factory.

In a public Facebook post Councillor Williams commented:

“I think that anyone who thinks that a business would want to open a new shop in Westhoughton is living in cloud cuckoo land. People want small houses in the town centre.”

The comment came just months after Labour councillors scrapped start up grants to support new Westhoughton town centre businesses but found £300,000 for Asons solicitors in Bolton. They then approved house building plans for the Gaiety snooker hall site next door to The Beer School.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson, who is backing our town centre traders, said: “This bizarre comment by a Labour councillor shows what they really think of our town. While they might be happy talking our town down, we are inundated with people who are finally getting excited about all the new openings in our town.

“A number of local people have invested their time and money to open new businesses and I fully support them. It is not easy but look what happens. We now have a really thriving town centre with only two empty units.”

Gaiety site to be sold for NEW SHOPS as houses plan falls through

The former Gaiety snooker hall site in Westhoughton is to be sold as a 10,000 sq ft retail space.

The announcement that the derelict Market Street site has been put up for sale comes just days after Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson has argued that house plans should be dropped.

The developer who owns the site has permission to build two rows of terraced houses.

But it now seems that plan has been ditched in favour of a sale for retail purposes according to this advert:

“Land for sale, situated next to The Wheatsheaf on Market Street Westhoughton. Approximate 0.8 Acres. Outline planning permission in place for up to 10,000 sq ft of retail units. Would suit ‘mini supermarket’, ‘express’ or ‘extra’ type concept store or similar. Subject to planning. Development package available for freehold site.”

My Westhoughton has been contacted by a source close to the developer, who said: “The site has been listed with various agents for commercial development for years, with no real enquiries. It has always been Michael’s preference to go down the commercial route.

“To use the site for residential purposes is purely a commercial fall back option for Michael and not a preferred one.

“I would very much like to work towards improving and creating the ‘buzz’ again that Westhoughton once had.”

The developer is keen to hear from business owners who are looking to open up in Westhoughton.

Build new shops on Gaiety site, urges Westhoughton councillor

Westhoughton councillor David Wilkinson has urged the landowner of the former Gaiety snooker hall site to keep the site for new shops rather than building the houses he has permission for.

The site has permission for two rows of terraced houses after Labour councillors backed the plans.

But since permission was granted the town’s economy has continued to grow with the opening of The Beer School, Koo Bar Cafe and now The Card Factory.

David said: “I would hope that the multi-millionaire owner of this site now recognises that our town centre is growing and this is a prime location which would be ideal for new retail units.”

New Greek-inspired restaurant to open in Westhoughton

A new Greek-inspired restaurant has been given permission to open on Market Street at the former dry cleaners.

The Kitchen

New home for The Kitchen restaurant

It will serve modern food and this picture shows some of the inspiration for the place. What do you think?

The Kitchen

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “It’s great to see yet another new business opening on Market Street and it sounds like an exciting venture. I wish them well.”

What happened to Westhoughton’s new chicken restaurant?

Earlier this year we had the news that a chicken restaurant was to open in the former Mario’s cafe.

Work started but now seems to have ground to a halt, causing some local residents to wonder if the project has ended.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “We understand that there have been some problems but we hope that it can get under way again soon and not remain an empty shop on the street.”

New Card Factory to open in Westhoughton

A new Card Factory will be opening in Westhoughton at the former police post off Pavilion Square.

They are looking for new sales assistants. Apply at by June 26.

Westhoughton town councillor David Wilkinson said: “It’s great news to see another empty shop unit being filled.”

Plans for a Costa coffee in the same unit fell through several weeks ago as the national chain struggles to continue expanding.

Catalent creates more than 50 new jobs at Westhoughton facility

Primarily involved in the production, packaging and storage of patient kits for clinical trials, Catalent currently employs over 200 people at its Westhoughton site – and another 50 jobs are to be created.

The new jobs are to meet growing demand in clinical trials from both UK and global customers, and will be in a variety of roles across all departments including operations, engineering, project management and quality.

“The facility at Westhoughton plays a pivotal role in Catalent’s global network, and we are proud of the work we undertake to improve medicines, and the health of patients,” commented Alan Robinson, General Manager. He added: “Over the last twenty years, this site has seen significant growth and investment, and this major recruitment drive reinforces Catalent’s commitment not only to the industry, but the community in and around Westhoughton.”

The Westhoughton site was completed in the summer of 1996 and the company, then known as Unipack and Unival, relocated its 70 staff from premises in nearby Walkden. In February the following year, the facility was officially opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. Previously owned by Cardinal Health, the company was purchased by Blackstone in 2007 and became Catalent.

Catalent is the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products. With over 80 years serving the industry, Catalent has proven expertise in bringing more customer products to market faster, enhancing product performance and ensuring reliable clinical and commercial product supply. Catalent employs approximately 10,000 people, including over 1,400 scientists, at more than 30 facilities across five continents, and in fiscal 2016 generated $1.85 billion in annual revenue.

New Westhoughton wine and cocktail bar gets go-ahead

A new wine and cocktail bar for Westhoughton has been given the go-ahead by planners.

Bolton Council has granted planning permission for a former barbers in Market Street, which has been vacant for several months, to be converted into a town centre bar.

Plans were submitted by Scott Rothwell to convert the former Kal’s Barbers shop on Market Street into an “elegant” new bar.

The bar has permission to open from Monday to Friday 4pm until 1am and Saturday and Sunday 12pm until 1am.

The property has been empty since Kal’s moved into larger premises next door.

Aldi ‘finalising’ contracts to open Westhoughton store

After months of delays by Bolton Council, we are told they are now “finalising” contracts with Aldi which will allow the supermarket to be built off Bolton Road.

The plans were given permission last year but nothing has happened since.

Are you looking forward to it opening? Share your views below.

The store

Aldi stores usually open between 8am and 10pm Monday to Saturday and between 10am and 4pm on Sundays.

The new Aldi food store will include:

  • 99 car parking spaces for the foodstore, including; 6 accessible spaces, 5 staff spaces and 9 Parent and Child Spaces
  • Free car parking for up to 90 minutes
  • Vehicular access achieved via Bolton Road
  • Up to 40 full and part time jobs for local people
  • Landscaping to enhance the appearance of the site

The supermarket said: “Aldi is keen to transform this underutilised site by introducing a contemporary, high-quality development to the area.”

The site looking toward Bolton Road
The site looking toward Bolton Road

Car parking changes

The development will include two car parks. The existing council-operated and free car park will be moved from the eastern part of the site to the west and will be accessed via Library Street which will be resurfaced as part of this scheme. The new car park will provide 76 car parking spaces – more than the current council car park. The existing car park will be redeveloped as part of the Aldi store and will provide 99 customer car parking spaces. Customer access will be retained from Bolton Road.