TESCO are aiming to open their landmark Extra store at Bridgewater Park next autumn, the Leader can reveal exclusively.
And two tennants have been found
The news has been welcolmed by public representatives who say the store will bring a much needed shot in the arm to the local economy.
A spokesperson for Tesco told the Leader, “We are continuing to work with Land Securities and the council to move our plans forward.
“We are currently targeting an autumn 2014 store opening and we’ll continue to keep the local community posted on our plans and progress.”
When it opens the store, which was subject to several legal bids, will be one of the biggest in Ireland .
Two of its previous planning applications - which, if they had been given the go-ahead, would have made the store the largest on the island, were rejected but in March 2011, Environment Minister Alex Attwood approved revised plans for a smaller store to be built at the site.
Six months later, the Northern Ireland Independant Retail Association was granted permission to challenge his decision in court, but this was surprisingly withdrawn in June last year.
Welcolming the move, Banbridge Councillor Jim McElroy said that the store will provide jobs.
“This is great news for the district and something for the public to really look forward to,” he said.
“We are getting closer to the opening of a store which will help our economy significantly and will create employment for plenty of people in the area.
“I’m delighted that we are nearly there after many years of waiting.”