21/07/2008

Tesco Sets Sights On Armagh Shopping Centre

Leading UK supermarket Tesco has purchased an Armagh shopping centre, a move which is reportedly the chain's first such venture in the Province.

Plans for an extension at the Meadow Centre in Portadown have already been submitted, as the supermarket giant continues to negotiate with tenants, including Next, JJB Sports and Easons.

If the redevelopment gets the green light 130 new jobs could be created in the area, according to Tesco spokesperson, as well as many much needed jobs for the construction sector.

Tesco reportedly plans to double the floor space of the centre to 90,000 square feet.

The company also hopes to broaden the diversity of products in the centre.

Construction plans include a glass atrium containing moving walkways to link a new car park with the main shopping complex.

Tesco has insisted that no existing tenants will be required to completely leave the centre, but instead some may have to relocate within the complex.
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Tenants have said they are aware of the development, but the centre management said have not commented on the proposals.

Tesco's Colin Hampsey said: "This investment will enable Tesco and the existing tenants to enhance and regenerate the centre offering customers a vibrant, modern shopping experience."

"The proposal will increase the size of our store, which is being facilitated by relocation of some tenants. Due to the way the shopping centre is currently laid out, all the work to the Tesco store will be carried out internally," he added.

Plans have also been submitted for a single-decked car park, which will increase parking capacity from 660 to 900.

It is thought that this move is the first time Tesco will manage an entire shopping complex in Northern Ireland.

However, Tesco are now the anchor tenant on the site of the former Springhill Shopping centre in Bangor, which was demolished last year.

In June, the planning authority rejected plans for a 13,000 square foot Tesco at Bridgewater Park near Banbridge.

See: Tesco's Banbridge Plans Get Axed

(PR)

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