Tesco store set to open next week

Fundraisers at Bow Street
Fundraisers at Bow Street

The new Tesco Extra store at Bridgewater Park in Banbridge, is set to open its doors on October 16.

Public representatives, who backed the store after it was subject to several legal bids which substantially delayed the project, have welcomed the store’s imminent opening.

Welcoming the news, Banbridge Councillor Jim McElroy said the store will be good for the local economy.

“This is great news for the district and something for the public to really look forward to,” he said.

“The opening of the store will help our economy significantly and will create employment for plenty of people in the area as well as bring in more rates for Banbridge.

“I’m delighted that we are nearly there after many years of waiting.”

Councillor Glenn Barr commented: “This is a much welcomed addition to the district, I would like to wish all the new staff who have gained employment well.

“I do hope that this will bring the much anticipated extra footfall to the district and indeed I hope this turns around the fortunes of the Outlet as well as contributing to Banbridge town centre and neighbouring villages such as Loughbrickland and Rathfriland.”

He added: “I hope this sends out a positive message that Banbridge District is open to business and I hope that this spurs on entrepreneurs and businesses to locate in the district.”

The new store will be one of the biggest Tesco’s in Ireland

Two of its previous planning applications - which, if they had been given the go-ahead, would have made the proposed store the largest on the island, were rejected but in March 2011, the then 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Independant Retail Association was granted permission to challenge his decision in court, but this was surprisingly withdrawn, enabling Tesco to press ahead.