24/09/2010

Bangor Sainsbury's Development Boosts Jobs

Development work will begin on a major superstore project in Bangor at the beginning of October, creating and securing dozens of construction jobs.

The property expert who secured the deal to bring the Sainsbury's supermarket giant to Balloo Retail Park said that it will be a significant boost for the scheme and the local area.

David McNellis, Agency Director at Lisney, the letting and managing agents, said that Sainsbury's will act as an important draw to the park and a catalyst in attracting other high quality retailers to a proposed second phase.

"In a complex deal involving the re-configuration of the existing Homebase space, it is extremely satisfying to have landed Sainsbury's who will bring a lot of additional footfall to the retail park. We will shortly be releasing the second phase, totalling 20,000 sq ft of retail," he continued.

"This will provide excellent opportunities for retailers that are complimentary to Sainsbury's and Homebase, and we have already had some expressions of interest, despite the second phase having not yet been released."

Around 350 jobs are expected to be created through the investment being undertaken at Balloo Retail Park.

Commenting on the scheme, Richard McNamara, Senior Business Manager with Bank of Ireland, funders for the investment, said: "We are delighted to be funding this exciting and significant development which supports commercial activity and will result in job creation in the North Down area.

"Our committment to this scheme demonstrates Bank Of Ireland's ongoing support for our customers and our continued appetite to lend."

Planning permission for the 60,000 sq ft Sainsbury's was granted earlier this year.

The application was for part demolition of the existing buildings and structures on the site and the construction of a new retail store, extension and reconfiguration of the existing retail warehouse unit and garden centre, including installation of a replacement mezzanine floor; provision of two retail warehouse units and associated highway, footpath, landscape and other works and improvements.

Speaking at the time, NI Environment Minister, Edwin Poots, said: "This approval will see the development of a new modern store and will be a welcome boost in terms of job creation with approximately 350 full and part time jobs."

The contractor to undertake the development work will be appointed over the next few weeks. The new Sainsbury's is expected to begin trading before the end of 2011.

(GK/BMcC)

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