Car-supermarket plan for former DIY store – and hotel and KFC also on the way
Date published: 09 September 2019
Photo: Google, DigitalGlobe
Homebase warehouse on Sandbrook Park, Rochdale
A former DIY store could soon reopen as a huge car supermarket – with a new hotel and fast-food restaurant to be built next to it.
Homebase, in Rochdale, closed its doors at the end of August, but The Trade Centre Group plans to transform the warehouse into a 1,000-car dealership.
The move may come as a surprise to residents, as permission was previously granted to divide the 104,000 sq ft unit into a Wickes, a B&M and a Bounce trampoline park – as well as two cafes.
But this scheme is no longer going ahead – and The Trade Centre Group hopes to have its operation up and running by the end of the year, subject to permission from Rochdale council planners.
Investment firm DVS – the company behind the original application – has confirmed a long-term lease for the store has been agreed with the car retailer.
Elements of the earlier project have survived, with a 66-room Travelodge and KFC drive-through restaurant also set to built at the Sandbrook Park site.
Planning permission for both these development remains in force from 2017.
A spokesman for DVS said the firm was ‘delighted’ to have agreed leases with all three parties – and expected building work to start on site towards the end of the month.
He said: “This will bring a great new hotel and a further restaurant offering to the park. The additional footfall generated to the scheme is obviously welcome news to the other occupiers in the park.
“In the current challenging economic climate it is remarkable to see such heavy investment and we are extremely pleased.”
He continued: “The car retailer is expected to be open for trade by this Christmas with the Travelodge and KFC expected to be built and open by the end of summer next year.
“This marks a very significant investment by DVS into Rochdale and underpins their commitment to the local community and reaffirms their confidence in Sandbrook Park as a fantastic leisure and shopping destination for the region.”
Writing on The Trade Centre Group’s website, CEO Andy Coulthurst said: “As a Rochdale lad myself, I am massively excited that we have been able to bring our unique concept to the town and I know that the store will be a huge success.
“We are armed with a record marketing budget to play out across TV, radio, digital, outdoor and print, ensuring that we are a household name in the North West within weeks of opening”
The Trade Centre Group has also bought an ex-car dealership site nearby for logistics and a ‘state-of-the-art’ customer care suite.
The Neath-based retailer will create more than 100 jobs, mostly in customer facing roles, and the firm plans to recruit largely from the Rochdale area.
Chairman and founder Mark Bailey also hailed the opening of the first outlet in the north west on the firm’s website.
“If you put the pin in the map for a perfect north west location from which to retail cars you couldn’t do better than being placed right at the gateway to Rochdale with superb accessibility for value-driven car shoppers in towns across the region, we are delighted to be developing the site,” he said.
Councillor John Blundell, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Business, Skills and Employment at Rochdale Borough Council and board director of the RDA, said: “To see a national company like Trade Centre UK open a new showroom in Rochdale, their first in the North West, bringing with them 100 new jobs, is a huge vote of confidence in our borough.
“We welcome this investment into one of our major retail and leisure parks and are working with Trade Centre UK to support their recruitment drive and ensure that our residents can make the most of this fantastic opportunity.
“With Rochdale benefitting from excellent transport links and the council and Rochdale Development Agency on hand to support them as they establish themselves in Rochdale, I’m confident Trade Centre UK will thrive in our borough.”
Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter
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