12:35pm Wednesday 27th November 2013
Exclusive By James Wilson
SUPERMARKET giant Asda is to build a new 68,000sq feet store at Northwich’s Barons Quay development bringing 300 new jobs to the town, the Guardian can reveal today.
Cheshire West and Chester Council – developers of the £80m riverside scheme – revealed the Quay’s first big name signing and following close behind, expected within weeks, will be the name of the operator of the town’s long-awaited five screen cinema.
An Asda spokesman told the Guardian it had been looking to build a store in the town for ‘some time’.
Philip Bartram, Asda’s senior property communications manager, said: “The Barons Quay development is exciting for the area. We look forward to these plans finally becoming reality.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council has approved the massive development project at Barons Quay, which will create 1,600 jobs and make Northwich into one of the north west’s busiest market towns by 2016.
Planners have embraced the riverside setting in their vision for Northwich, which will include pedestrian links to Witton Street, Market Square and Memorial Court leisure complex.
In addition to the cinema and superstore, Barons Quay will include a hotel, cafes and restaurants, shops and hundreds of car parking spaces.
Clr Herbert Manley, executive member for growth and Innovation, said: “By taking on the role of developer, the council will cut through the current economic logjam to get the project under way and control the quality of this project.
“Historically the town’s fortunes were built on salt. Its misfortune was that the mining activities created subsidence which for many years held Northwich back.
“The £32m stabilisation of the mines under the town centre, has opened the door to these exciting transformational plans.”
Clr Mike Jones, leader of CWaC, added: “Existing retailers have nothing to fear and everything to gain from Barons Quay and all the other developments.
“I am sure the independents have the skills and enterprise to benefit from a massive increase in visitors to the area.”
David Watson, chairman of the Weaver Valley Partnership, said: “This is wonderful news for Northwich, a huge step towards the creation of a prosperous and thriving market town to be enjoyed by residents and visitors.”
Northwich Clr Paul Dolan added: “We must ensure that businesses in the traditional shopping areas are supported.”
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