Supermarket bid to open in town centre

Morrisons wants to open a food store in the former Vision Express store on Church Street, Blackpool.
Morrisons wants to open a food store in the former Vision Express store on Church Street, Blackpool.
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Morrisons could be set to open a new store in Blackpool town centre.

The supermarket giant has confirmed it is in discussions about bringing one of its M local stores to Church Street.

It has applied to Blackpool Council for a premises licence for the former Vision Express site to sell alcohol between 7am and 11pm Monday to Sunday.

Laura Stubbs from Morrisons said: “We’re in the early stages of discussion about bringing a Morrisons M local to Blackpool.

“We look forward to sharing our plans with the community, should things progress.”

Morrisons has already opened two M local stores in Blackpool after taking over defunct Blockbusters stores on Cherry Tree Road in Marton, and on Whitegate Drive.

The Church Street site is within the council’s saturation area for off-licences, which means while each application will be dealt with on merit, a licence will only be granted if the applicant proves it will not add to anti-social behaviour in the area.

The Co-op already has a food store in nearby Birley Street, while Tesco is proposing to open within a new building planned for the former Yates’s site on Clifton Street.

Sainsbury’s is also currently building a new supermarket as part of the Talbot Gateway central business district, which is due to open next spring.

Morrisons would create around 20 new jobs in its new store if it went ahead, and the focus would be on fresh produce, the company said.

John Leeming, assistant manager at Abingdon Street Market, warned the arrival of big name supermarkets in the town centre would be a blow to independent traders.

He said; “We are already getting a Sainsbury’s and Tesco Express wants to open, so another of the big supermarket names coming in could be quite damaging.

“I would like to see the council support the small independent traders a bit more really.”