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Potential jobs boost as Asda plans new store

Supermarket giant Asda has announced plans for a new store in Co Down expected to create up to 250 new jobs.

The firm said it wants to locate at a 4.5-acre site at Newry Road in Banbridge and a formal application for planning permission has been made.

Subject to approval, the new store will have a 25,000 square ft sales area and over 300 car parking spaces, a recycling facility and a petrol station.

Philip Bartram, Asda property communications manager, said that the plans have the potential to stimulate economic growth in uncertain times.

"As part of the company's recruitment strategy, Asda will be setting up a local employment partnership to target local job seekers and the long-term unemployed and will recruit up to 250 new full and part-time colleagues," he said.

"This is an exciting time for Asda and a great opportunity to bring real supermarket choice and competition to Banbridge in a location that will attract shoppers into the town.

"Like all Asda stores, because of its UK-wide single pricing structure, Banbridge shoppers will benefit from the company's famously low prices. They will also get a taste of Asda's strong commitment to local sourcing, as the supermarket's Northern Ireland stores sell over 700 local products from 60 different local suppliers.

"We are really excited about our plans for Banbridge. Asda is a great place to work and will provide a significant boost to the local economy.

"In considering our application it is important that the Planning Service recognise the appropriate size and location of our store in relation to the existing town and appreciate how our plans could help support the vitality of Banbridge town centre."

A year ago, rival chain Tesco was refused planning permission for a megastore on the outskirts of the town.

The company proposed a 130,000 square ft store at Bridgewater Retail Park, beside The Outlet complex.

However it had been previously granted permission to extend its existing store at Castlewellan Road in Banbridge - just minutes away from the proposed Asda site - to just under 60,000 square feet.