POPULAR chicken restaurant Nando’s is set to join Walkden Retail Park after the chain-restaurant signed a 20-year lease.

The Afro-Portuguese themed chain will occupy a 4,100 sq ft unit, which is located between Aldi and Tesco.

The restaurant is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.

Other brands already a part of the park’s line-up include M&S Foodhall, Quality Save, Pets At Home and Total Fitness Gym.

James Maule-Ffinch, Senior Asset Manager for The Derwent Group, which owns the site said: “Nando’s will be the third food and beverage operator at Walkden Retail Park, joining Papa Johns and Purple Lounge Indian, and is a hugely popular brand to bring to the local area.

“We’re also delighted to strengthen our relationship with Nando’s in the UK, as this is the third site in our portfolio to welcome the brand.”

The Derwent Group is part of the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation and operates in the retail, leisure, industrial and commercial sectors. The group’s retail portfolio extends to 1.74m sq ft across nine retail parks in the north of England.

Sammie Bellamy, Labour councillor for Walkden North, said: “It’s fantastic to see the retail park taking shape.

“It will create jobs and the restaurant will be able to take the place of a disused building.”

Thousands of people are employed by the chain around the UK.

This will be Walkden’s first Nando’s restaurant, with Bolton Vaults and Leigh being the nearest branches to date.

Nando’s was founded in 1987, opening its first restaurant in Johannesburg.

It opened its first UK branch in 1992, with hundreds of restaurants now running up and down the country.

The chain burst into prominence over the past few years and has become a popular eating place of choice for hungry revellers.