Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s said today it has agreed a deal for a new store in Dundonald that could create up to 300 jobs.
The company said plans are to be submitted for a 60,000 sq ft store at the disused Rolls Royce Factory on the Upper Newtownards Road in Dundonald as part of a mixed use development that would include a hotel and business units on the 17 acre site.
The development is a joint project between the Belfast’s Lagan Group and Bangor-based MAR Properties under the Lagmar Properties name.
Sainsbury’s said once completed the store would be the second largest in Northern Ireland and had potential to employ 250 to 300 people.
However, a spokesman said it could take 18 months from planning permission being sought to the store actually opening.
Earlier this month Sainsbury’s opened a store in West Belfast and has new supermarkets planned for Carrickfergus, Bangor and Londonderry that will take its total number of stores in Northern Ireland to 15.
David Davidson, regional operations manager for Sainsbury’s Northern Ireland said: “This new store announcement further highlights Sainsbury’s commitment to Northern Ireland. It is good news for the local economy both in terms of job creation and supporting local suppliers. Sainsbury’s already works with over 100 local suppliers and is looking forward to working with these and new local producers at the Dundonald store.”
Stephen Bell of Lagmar Properties, which is promoting the wider scheme, added: “We have exciting plans to regenerate the 17-acre site which will include a hotel and business units. This is a significant investment in east Belfast which will help regenerate the area and bring much needed employment. Securing Sainsbury’s as an integral part of the scheme will help ensure its overall success.”
Strangford MP Iris Robinson welcomed the planned development. “This is absolutely wonderful news, coming as it does at a time when many had become most pessimistic about investment in the Dundonald area.”
Meanwhile Tesco and Lidl said they had reached an agreement that will see Tesco purchase its current store at Castlewellan Road in Newcastle from landlord Lidl, securing the jobs of its 160 |employees. The deal brings to an end four years of negotiations since Lidl became the site’s landlord. The lease on the store runs out at the end of this year and Tesco had previously failed to buy the store or get a lease extension and could not find an alternative site in the seaside town.
In a joint statement the companies said Lidl would now move ahead with the redevelopment of its existing store at Railway Street in the Co Down town.