Search

Co-op plans for old Woolies site

PUBLISHED: 09:47 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 14 July 2010

A question mark was raised over the future of a town centre food store after it emerged that its owner was planning to create a supermarket at a nearby former Woolworths.

A question mark was raised over the future of a town centre food store after it emerged that its owner was planning to create a supermarket at a nearby former Woolworths.

The ex-Woolies store in Wymondham has been vacant since the turn of the year when the historic retailer went into administration.

Town officials last week welcomed the news that the Co-operative Group had submitted plans to turn the empty shop space in Market Place into a supermarket.

However, the announcement cast a doubt over the future of the Somerfield grocery store across the road, in Market Street, which was purchased by the Co-operative Group earlier this year.

The national food retailer has submitted a planning application to South Norfolk Council to alter the shop front and entrance of the former Wymondham Woolworths store and to install new air conditioning.

Trevor Gurney, clerk of Wymondham Town Council, said there had been a number of rumours about potential new tenants.

“I think people are very pleased that the unit is being occupied. It is the largest unit in the town centre and it is not good for trade for it to be empty. It is nice that the Co-op is an established company with strong links with the county. We are quite pleased it is a Co-op rather than a low end retailer.”

“Our only concern is about the Somerfield store. I do not know if the Co-operative will want two supermarkets from the same group competing against each other,” he said.

The concerns come after the Co-operative Group completed the £1.5bn purchase of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March, creating a company with 3,000 stores and 8pc of the UK grocery market.

Peter Brome, Wymondham mayor, added: “We do not like empty shops in the town and it is pleasing that someone has taken an interest in it.”

A Co-operative Group spokeswoman said it was too early to speculate on the future of the Somerfield in Wymondham.

“We have submitted a planning application to allow us to convert the former Woolworths store in Market Place, Wymondham, into a Co-operative food store.

“Our plans are still at an early stage but we are looking forward to working with the council towards our aim of providing a smart, spacious and modern community store in the heart of the town,” she said.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists