A vacant ex-supermarket is “wasted” by being empty for long, according to a councillor who says he hopes it is brought back into use soon.

The former Morrisons on Bury Road, Breightmet has been empty since last September, sparking widespread concerns about the state of area’s shopping choices.

Shortly after the closure was announced, Home Bargains revealed plans to expand into the store, but now around six months on the space is still empty.

Cllr Sean Fielding, of Breightmet, said: “Home Bargains is an anchor tenant for the whole Breightmet retail area and it’s a waste for the former Morrisons portion of the building to stay empty this long.

“I hope we are able to see some progress soon so it is brought back in to use and creates the jobs that would come with a bigger Home Bargains store.”

The Bolton News: Plans for the expansion of Home Bargains have been put before Bolton CouncilPlans for the expansion of Home Bargains have been put before Bolton Council (Image: WPL Consulting LLP)

Morrisons decision to close the branch, which the company says it took because it had become “unsustainable” left people with little choice but to go into the town centre for their shopping.

The supermarket was formerly a Safeways store with Morrisons opening on the site in 2011 creating 52 jobs in the Breighmet area.

The decision was first announced in July 2023, with the supermarket’s doors finally closing for the last time in September that year.

The closure had also sparked concerns that the empty building could become an “eyesore.”

But the very same month of the final closure Home Bargains, which runs a branch right next door, said that it would expand into the empty space.

In January this year Home Bargains said that it hoped that work would get underway on expanding into the store by march or April.

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That same month plans for put before Bolton Council for the proposed store refurbishment.

The latest version included amendments to the approved drawings to the front elevation, roof and car park arrangements.

There were also plans, put before the council on that same month, for an “illustrated totem sign” advertising the Home Bargains, its café, car park and online ordering facility.

But as of this week the company has said it is not able to provide any update on the state of the store.