Traders have welcomed a new sports store opening in Accrington town centre.
Sports Direct will open its doors at the former JJB building at number 4 Broadway on February 11.
The move comes after a series of disappointments for the town which has seen Homebase announce it is set to go, followed by the departure of Marks and Spencer, due in May this year.
Ray Goldstone, president of the Hyndburn Chamber of Trade, said the chamber was "delighted" Sports Direct are opening.
He said: “The more big name shops that come here the better - whoever comes into the town actually, whether they’re a big name business or not.
“If jobs are being created, we’re happy.”
The 41,968 sq ft store will also include areas for running, football and golf.
Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn council leader, said: “This shows people are coming to Accrington and investing here whether that’s Sports Direct, Lidl, pubs or other retailers.
“Sports Direct is more price conscious with the same quality - people will go by that price margin and if retailers don’t keep to that they suffer.
“High streets have been affected because of changing shopping habits - click and collect and so on, but we have divergence here.
“I think Sports Direct opening is extremely good because not only will an empty building be occupied, it will also bring jobs”.
Jim Saron, owner of Bailey’s Menswear, said: “It is a very positive piece of news for Accrington on the back of the news from Marks and Spencer.
“We have been missing a sports operation since JJB closed about two years ago.
“Once JJB left, it seemed to stop the younger people coming into town - they’d go to Preston or Blackburn for their trainers or whatever instead.
“I think it will be an anchor for the town and will inject some vitality into the centre which everyone will benefit from because once people are in town they will visit other retailers too”.
He added that interviewees for the new store had come into his shop and were excited about it.
A spokesman for Sportsdirect.com said they were ‘delighted’ to be opening in Accrington and that their ethos remained to offer customers leading brands at low prices.
Founded in 1982, the company is now the UK’s largest sporting retailer with over 400 outlets nationwide.
Visit sportsdirect.com/accrington for exclusive offers and discounts.