An expected 350 new jobs are to be created in Londonderry after the city’s first Asda store got the green light.
Environment Minister Alex Attwood yesterday gave the go- ahead for the major retailer to open its first store in the city after granting a planning application.
The store will now be built in the Crescent Link retail development park in the Waterside area and is expected to create 350 jobs. The Asda store is the only proposal of nine major projects considered for Derry to be rubber-stamped so far.
Visiting Derry to make his announcement yesterday, Mr Attwood said he rejected four other applications, while another four have yet to be decided on.
Those rejected included a superstore at Crescent Link, a retail-led proposal at Drumahoe and a major retail proposal at Buncrana Road.
The minister is also recommending to Derry City Council that a smaller retail proposal at the Buncrana Road site is also |refused.
Mr Attwood said he will make a decision in the new year on the outstanding plans.
Earlier in the year Mr Attwood hinted that he would favour the development of city centres over out-of-town developments.
It is hoped that the new Asda store will not only entice shoppers from around the north west into Derry, but it will also stop a significant flow of local shoppers who currently travel to stores in Strabane and Coleraine.
“Indeed, in my view it will bring people not just from Derry, but from the north west, from Donegal, into the city in order to shop and to trade,” the minister said.
“I think this will be a win-win for Derry.”
The minister said he was committed to the regeneration of Derry as the economic heart of the north west.
“Proposals for out-of-centre retailing deemed to adversely |impact upon the vitality and viability of our high streets will not be permitted,” he said.
“My aim is to ensure that Derry city is protected, while growing jobs and the local economy.”