Sainsbury's reaffirms commitment to Bromsgrove store, despite persistent rumours (From Bromsgrove Advertiser)
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Sainsbury's reaffirms commitment to Bromsgrove store, despite persistent rumours
SAINSBURY’S has again reaffirmed is commitment to building its proposed new multi-million pound store in Bromsgrove despite fresh speculation that it is set to pull out.
The Advertiser has been contacted by several residents saying they had heard the firm was planning not to build the 45,000 square foot store at Bromsgrove Retail Park, opposite the Victoria Ground.
And the rumours have not disappeared despite work beginning earlier this month on Sainsbury’s new petrol station in Birmingham Road, which is replacing the one currently on the retail park.
The supermarket giant gained planning permission for the proposed store in Birmingham Road, in 2010.
In 2011, the paper first reported on speculation Sainbury’s did not want to build two supermarkets within the same catchment area - as the retailer announced its Longbridge store.
The new 85,000 square foot store has now been built and opened for trading last month.
The rumours on the Bromsgrove site surrounded the lease with the Co-operative Food supermarket, which was reportedly due to expire this year.
All the original traders on the site, including Lush and Focus, have ceased trading, apart from the supermarket. The YMCA charity shop moved into the former Lush store in 2012, but is understood to operate under a temporary lease.
Residents told the Advertiser that instead of preparing to move out, they had heard Co-operative Food was in fact improving the store, further fuelling the persistent rumours.
A Co-operative Food spokesman said: “The conditions on the lease allow us to continue trading, and we plan to do so for the foreseeable future.
“We are planning to invest in the store to improve the shopping experience, and work will be completed before the end of the year.”
However Ben Littman, Sainsbury’s regional development manager, said Sainsbury’s is committed to developing the foodstore.
“Although it is proving a lengthy process due to the agreements we have with the tenants on site, our legal team is currently taking steps to enable us to take vacant possession of the site," he said.
“In the meantime, works on the replacement petrol station are progressing well, and we are continuing to work with the council on the highways programme, both of which further underlines our commitment to Bromsgrove.
"We will, of course, keep the local community updated as we move forward on the project.”
Work on Sainsbury’s petrol station is expected to finish in early 2014.
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