Reporter: Colin Henrys
Date online: 03 May 2013
Small businesses and residents in Littleborough have reacted with a mixed response to proposals to build a new Tesco store.
Property Alliance Group (PAG) has announced plans for a new 24,000 sq ft store in Stockton Street on a site currently occupied by Carlisle Interconnect Technologies.
Tesco says the proposed multi-million pound stores will create 100 retail jobs in the area, while safeguarding 64 at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, who are looking for a new site.
Butcher Liam Bell, of Liam’s Quality Meats, Hare Hill Road, hopes the new jobs created will boost business at his independent shop.
“If anything it will bring more people to Littleborough and it will bring more jobs,” he said. “If people are working they will have more money to spend.
“It does not bother me in the slightest. I am only going to get more business.
“Personally I have spoken to quite a few people about it, and they’re saying ‘oh no, there’s going to be a Tesco’.
“But what will be, will be. 98 per cent of my customers go every week to Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Costco to do their big shop – but they don’t buy any meat.”
However, The Village Bakery, also in Hare Hill Road, is worried the new store will hurt business locally.
“We fight our corner for little local businesses in Littleborough and then the big boys come in and drown us – we do not approve of the proposals,” a spokesman said.
“Our opinion is let’s keep Littleborough local. We have got two supermarkets in Littleborough already – we have got enough.
“It will only have a negative impact on us.”
Residents – who received flyers today (3 May) detailing the new proposals – will have the chance to view the plans and comment on them prior to the submission of a formal application.
An exhibition is to be held at Littleborough Cricket Club on Friday 10 May from 2.00pm-7.00pm and at Littleborough United Reform Church, Victoria Street, the following day from 10.00am-1.00pm.
A spokesman for Tesco claims the supermarket will boost the town.
He said: “After careful research we believe that a new Tesco foodstore in this location will bring real benefits to Littleborough.
“Our plans will bring a jobs boost to Littleborough. Local traders will benefit as more shoppers choose to shop locally, rather than travelling to Rochdale.”
Scott Warburton, of Warburton Estates, is firmly against the plans fearing the supermarket giants will harm Littleborough’s identity.
“We don’t need it,” he said. “We have got our own identity in Littleborough.
“There’re a lot of shops here that will suffer. They know what they are doing - they have found a niche in the market.
“But Littleborough simply does not need a Tesco – we have forged our identity through hard work and I will work with anyone against these proposals.”