New Derry supermarket to create 350 jobs
Environment Minister Alex Attwood has given approval for a new Asda superstore in Londonderry.
Friday, 21 December 2012
The 40,000sq ft supermarket at Crescent Link Retail Park will create 350 new jobs and will be the result of a £30 million investment.
The city has one of Northern Ireland's highest rates of unemployment, and Asda said they will be targeting local job seekers and the long-term unemployed.
Asda's Colin Sangster said he hopes the store will stimulate economic growth in Derry.
"A new Asda store in the city will create and sustain hundreds of jobs, both directly and indirectly through our local network of suppliers," he said.
But the decision to approve planning for the superstore has sparked fears that it could have a negative effect on city centre trading.
Local trading representatives welcomed Mr Attwood's decision to reject other out of town superstore applications.
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and Derry Traders Forum Chairman Martin McCrossan said Minister Attwood had listened to their concerns about the city.
"If these out of town superstores had have been given planning permission then they would have closed even more city centre retailers, taken trade away and resulted in a net loss of jobs for the city.
"We are not anti multiple superstores - we are anti-out of town," they said.
"We want to see these stores in the City Centre where they will add to the retail offer of Derry."
The store will be the first Asda in Derry and when completed, almost 5,000 people across Northern Ireland will be employed by the supermarket.
There are currently 17 Asda stores in NI and they sell over 1,900 local products, including Tayto crisps and Cookstown sausages.