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B&Q to share space with Morrisons in South Ribble

Business leaders have today welcomed news of hundreds of new jobs in Preston and South Ribble.

A new Morrisons store is set for Bamber Bridge under a deal with B&Q which will create 300 new jobs.

Bosses say rents at their DIY superstore on Craven Drive are ‘unsustainable’ so a deal has been struck where the unit is split in two, with a new supermarket to fill the gap.

No jobs are expected to be lost at Morrisons remaining store on Station Road, or at B&Q, but 300 new full and part-time jobs will be created.

James Brook, head of acquisitions in the North for Morrisons, said: “Our new store will create new local job opportunities, all with real career and training prospects.”

Contracts between the DIY company and Morrisons have now been exchanged and discussions have already started with planners at South Ribble Council.

The news comes as developers behind plans to extend Deepdale Retail Park revealed Harveys, CSL, Oak Furniture Land and Wren Kitchens could be in line for the new units.

They say the investment will not conflict with the city centre, where big units for the retailers could not be accommodated.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “490 new jobs is certainly fantastic news and will give a real boost to the local economy.

“It’s also an illustration that even though businesses are facing challenging times, business continues to invest for the future as confidence returns.”

Colin Gilligan, centre manager for Deepdale Shopping Park, said: “As well as creating vital new jobs, local investment and transforming an eyesore, the new phase will enable us to attract and accommodate new and exciting bulky goods retailers which are not currently represented in the area.”

Similar plans were refused by the council in April this year because concerns were raised that the scheme could have an adverse affect on the city centre.

Developers have now submitted new plans, which are due to go before Preston Council’s planning committee on Monday.

It plans are approved, the works could start later this year and be completed by April next year.

As well as the new shopping units, the expansion will include six affordable bungalows, a crèche and community facilities, and highways improvements totalling £1.2m.

The site consists the empty former Booker cash and carry and Decco retail warehouses.

Source : Lancashire Evening Post
www.lep.co.uk/news/490-jobs-as-plans-for-two-deals-revealed-1-5808959

30 June 2013
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