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Tesco ditches £20m plan for Cumbrian superstore

Tesco has shelved plans for a £20 million Whitehaven superstore.

Whitehaven Tesco graphic
How the new store may have looked

The plans, which would have doubled the site of the existing Tesco at North Shore and created 150 jobs, have fallen victim to the chain’s economic woes after it suffered a sharp drop in profits.

The Whitehaven store is one of 100 the company has decided not to pursue.

Doug Wilson, Tesco corporate affairs manager, said: “Our store in Whitehaven remains exceptionally popular with customers. We are proud to serve the local community at our store and, following careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with the replacement store.”

Built on stilts, the development was to be linked to a public plaza with landscaped spaces and was due to be completed by this autumn, but timescales continued to be put back.

Tesco’s expansion was linked to the now defunct plans for a new rail and bus interchange which was to be an “iconic gateway’’ to the town centre.

Last week, Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, saw a sharp drop in profits after it pulled its Fresh & Easy business in the US, a closure which will lead to a £1.2bn write-off.

And the company was forced to admit that it has scrapped plans to open stores on 100 UK sites, leaving it with a write-down of £804m on land bought at the height of the property boom.

Land deals between Tesco and Copeland council were completed some time ago to pave the way for the new store.

Paul Walker, Copeland council’s chief executive, said: “We are obviously disappointed as this development would have enhanced what Whitehaven has to offer.”

Have your say

Think I've heard this before- wasn't it the same people who were going to spend millions on a new store in Workington a few years ago- seems to be a Tesco tactic here- buy up land and prevent the opposition using it.

Posted by Richard on 5 May 2013 at 22:31

Who are they trying to kid??!! Tesco never had any intention of building a superstore in Whitehaven. The plans were put together to stop and to influence against Asda building a superstore in Whitehaven. I hope this is looked into. They should be given a heavy fine and those responsible brought to justice.

Posted by Jinny on 2 May 2013 at 16:50

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