THE bets are off over who is taking over a shop in a popular site in Leyland’s town centre.
William Hill Ltd has applied to South Ribble Council for a betting licence to open a bookmakers near Greenhalgh’s bakery on Hough Lane.
Some firms are saying that the £300,000 regeneration project by the council to improve the town centre is starting to pay off.
Shaun Reeve, owner of Radio Racers, said: “It is brilliant that a large company is coming to the town even though it will bring a bit of competition to the other bookies already here.
“When big corporations come to an area it often has a knock-on effect as others become interested.
“It can only be good for businesses in Leyland as more people will start to visit the town.
“I am glad that the shop has been taken over.”
Mr Reeve added with pub giant Wetherspoons working on the former Spar and Post Office on Hough Lane that there is more choice in the town of places to shop.
He said: “I am pretty sure the council has a long term plan to bring more businesses here.
“If there is wider range of shops and goods then more people will stay longer in the town.”
If given the green light, William Hill will be the third bookies in the town and joins Ladbrokes and BetFred which are on Hough Lane.
Earlier this year, the Guardian published a special investigation on Leyland town centre and found there were 20 empty shops on the high street and Turpin Green Lane.
Paul Atkinson of Atkinson’s Jewellers, said: “I did not know anything about it.
“There is nothing worse than empty shops in the town so at least it is another one being filled.
“I would have liked to see a retail shop there but hopefully bring people to Leyland.”“
A spokesman for William Hill said: “Before any plans are submitted we do market research to see if there is a need for a shop in the area.
“If we get permission then we could open in three to six months employing six staff.”