PLANS to split a former restaurant into a Greggs and a Card Factory have been scrapped – because Burger King is set to take over the whole site.
Frankie and Benny’s opened at Hindpool Retail Park in Barrow in 2013, creating 40 jobs, but closed three years later.
It had previously been occupied by Blockbuster which closed in 2010 following the collapse of the film and game rental firm.
After the former restaurant had remained empty for five years The Mail revealed in November that Greggs was set to take over one half of the unit.
The details came to light after the owner of Hindpool Retail Park, British Land, submitted plans to change the use of the former restaurant and split it into two units.
Then in March plans were submitted by Card Factory to install signage on the other half of the unit.
Work started to split the restaurant into two units but then ground to a halt with no explanation as to why.
However, now The Mail can exclusively reveal that a Burger King franchisee is in talks to take over the whole site, which is understood to be seen as preferential by British Land.
A source close to the talks said: “The owner decided it was easier to keep the unit as one and Burger King were quite keen to take on the unit as a whole.”
The vast majority of Burger King restaurants are privately-owned franchises.
Franchisees are required to start with at least £250,000 investment. Developing a restaurant itself can cost between £250,000 and £800,000, depending on its location and size.
Once operational, Burger King franchises must contribute five per cent of sales income to the firm’s marketing fund and a further five per cent in royalty fees.
Barrow has previously had a Burger King restaurant, in Dalton Road, which closed over a decade ago.
Fast food fans have long called for the return of the burger giant to Barrow with the nearest restaurants currently at Burton-in-Kendal services or Lancaster services.
In 2016 a poll on The Mail’s website attracted more than 500 votes which revealed 64 per cent would prefer a Burger King over a town centre KFC, Starbucks or independent outlet.
A spokeswoman for Burger King said nothing had been confirmed yet about the franchise at Hindpool Retail Park.
“Burger King franchisees are regularly evaluating opportunities to bring our great-tasting products to more guests in new locations,” they said.
“We do not currently have any information regarding a restaurant at this location but will keep you informed of further information if it becomes available.”
Related: Burger King Franchise
Other occupiers on Hindpool Retail Park include Next, Cancer Research, Carpetright, Subway, Costa, Bensons for Beds, Poundland and Aldi.
Aldi is set to move out of the store when its new supermarket opens at Hollywood Retail Park on Thursday May 16.
By Amy Fenton
Source: The Mail