New supermarket will create up to 400 jobs

Redditch Advertiser: (5696736) (5696736)

AS many as 400 jobs could be created when ASDA opens its new Redditch store, the supermarket giant has recently revealed.

Asda and B&Q’s new store plans for the town continue to gain support from the community. A two day public exhibition took place in December which attracted approximately 250 visitors, over 95 per cent of who expressed support for the scheme.

This was followed by a planning application being submitted to Redditch Council.

A spokesman said: "Since the initial launch in December support has carried on growing, with Asda having received new supportive messages every week since the exhibition. In addition, many of those local residents who had already pledged early support have been sending follow-up messages urging Asda and B&Q to push on with the plans as quickly as possible.

"Several recurring themes continue to run through the favourable feedback. These include greater shopping choice and competition, the creation of hundreds of new jobs for local people and the overall confidence shown in Redditch by a multi-million pound investment proposal.

The scheme attracting this support would see B&Q convert its existing unit into a ‘new generation B&Q’ store and Asda open a new 50,000 sq ft sales area on the site. The local economy stands to potentially benefit hugely, with the Asda store set to create up to 400 new jobs for local people and B&Q’s own plans safeguarding the existing jobs at its Smallwood store. This is set to directly benefit hundreds of local households in the long-term.

Community feedback is continuing to reach Asda and B&Q via a dedicated scheme website –asdaredditch.co.uk. The website includes many details of the proposal and a simple automatic mechanism for residents to leave any comments or questions for the development team. The website will remain active throughout the planning process and all comments will be logged and replied to, where appropriate, right up until the council makes a decision on the proposal.

Should planning consent be granted, the full scheme – both the Asda and B&Q aspects – should be up and running by early 2016.

ASDA senior property communications manager, Philip Bartram, said: “We continue to be extremely pleased with the widespread support from within the local community. Feedback from the public exhibition back in December was hugely encouraging and it is equally encouraging to note how the support has continued to roll on. Asda and B&Q are working hard together to progress the plans as quickly as possible, hopefully culminating in a planning permission later in the coming months.

"In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone for passing us their feedback to date, and I would ask people to continue visiting the website and letting us know what they think. Whatever the nature of it, every comment that we receive is useful to us.”

The Asda proposal is for a new 50,000 sq ft (sales area) store, which will carry a full selection of food and non-food lines. These include the Asda brand, Smart Price and Extra Special ranges, as well as George clothing, CDs, DVDs, books and homeware goods. In addition to the benefits for local shoppers, the store will include an array of ‘state-of-the-art’ environmental features to ensure it is constructed and run in a fully sustainable manner.

The new B&Q will decrease in size but include a new garden centre and the store overall will represent the new generation B&Q offer. This means a new layout, lower level displays and colour coded signage, along with the latest trend products in the likes of decor, home furnishings and lighting plus everything needed for the garden year-round.

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