Food store set to open in town centre

Coastal House on the corner of Birley Street and Abingdon Street in Blackpool
Coastal House on the corner of Birley Street and Abingdon Street in Blackpool
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BLACKPOOL town centre is to get a new food store.

The Co-op is poised to take over the ground floor of Coastal House on the corner of Abingdon Street and Birley Street.

Formerly the Harveys furniture store, the premises are now owned by Blackpool Council with the upper floors used as the headquarters of Blackpool Coastal Housing.

A Co-op spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are looking to open a Co-operative food store on Abingdon Street in Blackpool town centre and have provisionally agreed terms with Blackpool Council.”

Plans have been submitted to the council by the Co-op for the installation of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment on the roof.

But there are no details of when the new store will open or how many jobs it will create.

Eileen Ormand, town centre BID (business improvement district) manager, said: “This will increase footfall which is good news because it is bringing more people to that part of town.

“My only worry is the impact it will have on Abingdon Street Market.

“However, I hope there will be room for both.”

Abingdon Street Market manager Robert Littlewood said: “I’m sure there will be an impact on the market, but we won’t know what that will be until the new store opens.

“However, we have a lot of loyal customers who visit our stalls for their fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.

“We have good footfall through the market and there is a lot of choice. Recently we have attracted some new stalls and we are looking good again and bringing fresh ideas in.”

The council bought the building for £1.2m in 2009 and spent around another £1.8m on refurbishment.

It became empty in May 2008 when Harveys moved to Blackpool Retail Park, on Squires Gate Lane.