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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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100 jobs at new Asda supermarket in Carlisle

Asda will create 100 jobs when it opens a new supermarket in Carlisle this summer.

Colin Glover photo
Colin Glover

And discount chain Aldi is eyeing up a site for what would be its third store in the city.

It was revealed last September that Asda was looking at redeveloping the former MFI unit at St Nicholas Gate Retail Park.

It was reported later that it was recruiting staff for the store, which opens on July 15.

Work on extending the unit is well advanced but only now has Asda confirmed it will be the occupier.

It already has a store at St Nicholas Gate, the former Netto it bought in 2010 and rebranded.

An Asda spokeswoman said: “The current store, which employs 29 colleagues, will continue to trade right up until the new store opens.”

The new Asda is four times as big, 25,000sq ft as opposed to 6,000sq ft. Unlike the existing branch, there is no planning restriction preventing the sale of non-food items.

The spokeswoman said: “Customers can expect to find everything for a full weekly shop.

“Asda’s clothing brand will have its own 4,000sq ft department stocking items for men, women and children.”

There will be another 219 new car parking spaces after a Burger King restaurant facing London Road was demolished.

Colin Glover, deputy leader of Carlisle City Council, said: “It is good news that Asda is to create 100 jobs in the city. It shows they have confidence in Carlisle and hopefully we can look forward to and see further regeneration of the St Nicholas Gate site.”

The new store will be run by general manager Andy Rae.

He said: “We’re really excited about moving to a bigger store and look forward to showing it off to customers.

“We’re extremely pleased to be creating local jobs for local people and look forward to continuing to play a part in supporting the community.”

Aldi, meanwhile, has made enquiries about acquiring the former John Laing site in Dalston Road.

It already has stores at Petteril Bank Road in Harraby, and Scotland Road.

Negotiations are thought to be at an early stage and neither Aldi nor the Cumberland Building Society, which owns the land, was prepared to comment.

Tesco is understood to be pushing ahead with plans for a supermarket at Morton, despite dropping proposals for 100 new stores this week.

Reporting its first fall in profits for almost 20 years, Tesco said future growth would be focused online.

It is an open secret that Tesco was in pole position to acquire land at Morton earmarked for a superstore.

The city council owns the site, which has outline planning permission for an 80,000sq ft supermarket, cafe, filling station, creche and hot-food takeaway.

The council invited offers from supermarket chains and received six expressions of interest. Tesco was the only one to go public.

Council officials said earlier this year that they were close to announcing a deal.

But Tesco’s statement on Wednesday appeared to suggest it might withdraw. However, it is understood that Morton remains on Tesco’s radar.

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