A FAMILY who put "everything they had" into a new African restaurant has had their business grounded for weeks after their building premises collapsed.

With aims to bring something "positive and different" to the community, Bright and Cynthia Chinule launched 'Taste Africana' on Leigh Road in August.

After spending thousands on refurbishing the premises ahead of its opening day, disaster struck just weeks after the business' launch as the building caved in from serious structural damage.

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Leigh Journal: Bricks were seen scattered across the road following the collapseBricks were seen scattered across the road following the collapse (Image: Bryte Chinule)
With parts of the building falling in on itself and tons of bricks scattering across the street, Taste Africana and neighbouring hairdressers 'Hairport' were forced to close due to safety concerns on Wednesday, September 13.

While numerous meetings have been convened with private landlords, local councillors, and building surveyors, the business owners have been unable to re-enter the premises and therefore stuck in limbo for weeks.

Leigh Journal: The African restaurant and takeaway was a hit with customers in its first few weeksThe African restaurant and takeaway was a hit with customers in its first few weeks (Image: Bright Chinule)
Bright, 33, said: "Me and my wife started the business from our kitchen becasue we really wanted to create something different and positive in the community. 

"The collapse happened just three weeks after we opened so we were just getting started, and all the customers seemed to really love it.

"We have been told that we are not allowed back into the building until it is deemed safe, but we don't know how long this is going to take. All we are hearing is it could be 'indefinite' so we just don't know where we stand.

"It is a real pain because we put everything we had into this business and it is our only source of income and livelihood."

Fencing has remained around the Leigh Road buildings to ensure the safety of pedestrians, while councillors for Atherton South & Lilford, John Harding, Lee McStein, and Debra Wailes have been in contact with council officials and the private landlord to try and come to a resolution.

After numerous meetings, the council has confirmed that building work to secure the property will take place in the coming days. However, no timescale has been offered on when the business will be able to reopen.

Leigh Journal: Bright (right) was devastated after the collapseBright (right) was devastated after the collapse (Image: Bright Chinule)
A Wigan Council spokesperson said: “Wigan Council has been engaging with the private owners of both affected properties, and they have advised us that building work will commence in the coming days.

"Once this work is underway and the appropriate scaffolding and netting is in place, we hope that the road will be able to be reopened.

"While Wigan Council is advising the property owners to ensure the repair work is undertaken in a timely and safe manner, the affected buildings are privately owned and are not the responsibility of the council.”