The arrival of a new Booths superstore on the Fylde coast has prompted a mixed reaction.
The Gazette revealed yesterday that Booths will launch a new store in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, after the Marcus Worthington Group bought the Premium Bonds site from Telereal Trillium in a £9.5million deal.
Booths will lease a 20,000sq ft food store, but in doing so, be forced to close its Ansdell store in Woodlands Road.
One business leader praised the return of Booths to St Annes, after a store in St Annes Road West closed recently – but admitted he felt for people in Ansdell.
St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said: “It’s sort of good but I have a mixed reaction.
“You want retail in the town centre.
“You feel it’s investment in the town, but it’s not in the town centre.
“The store would be much more acceptable in a town centre. But it will bring some employment. For Ansdell, it is a real shame. The store has been the heart of that area for some time now.”
All staff will be offered the chance to transfer from its Woodlands Road store to the new site, with an estimated 30 full-time and 50 part-time roles available at the Heyhouses development.
Ansdell Coun Richard Redcliffe (pictured) called the move a “sign of the times”.
He added: “If Booths were to leave Woodlands Road in Ansdell, that would be very disappointing, especially considering the investment that is to be made there.
“I would be extremely hopeful that another company would replace the site – Ansdell needs it.”
Marie Thompson, owner of Bennetts Bakery in Woodlands Road, said the decision to shut the store was a “great loss to Ansdell”.