The former HSBC bank on Fishergate is to become a new Sainsbury’s local store.Advertisement
The supermarket giant has submitted plans to Preston City Council to convert the building into a store after standing empty for six years.
Peta Brydon, Sainsbury’s Convenience Surveyor for the North East and West of England, said: “We feel that a Sainsbury’s Local would complement the other major retailers operating on Fishergate. We have wanted to open a shop here for a long time and the conversion would ensure that the listed building isn’t left standing vacant any longer.
“Sainsbury’s always focuses on recruiting colleagues from the local community and we work with local job centres and organisations such as Remploy in order to ensure this. If granted planning permission Sainsbury’s would look forward to providing these employment and training opportunities for the community of Preston.”
The 3,000 square foot store could create up to 20 full-time and part-time jobs in the city centre.
The plans are being worked on in conjunction with NewRiver Retail consultations.
Allan Lockhart, Property Director at NewRiver Retail, said: “We are delighted to complete our first investment in Preston with the simultaneous purchase and pre-let to Sainsbury’s of 40 Fishergate, re-activating a formerly vacant 10,000 sq. ft. retail unit in Preston’s main high street.
“The town is undergoing great transformation and we are pleased to be a part of this working with Sainsbury’s to create a desirable new convenience offer in the centre of the town. NewRiver will undertake the initial strip out works before handing over to Sainsbury late summer.”
The new store would be open every day from 7am to 11pm and plans include it having a cash point.
Council leader Peter Rankin hailed it as good news for the city centre.
He said: “This is more positive news for Preston and we are delighted that the improvements to Fishergate are already bearing fruit in terms of attracting investment.
“We welcome the creation of more jobs in the city. We welcome that a wonderful listed building is being brought back into use and we welcome the confidence being shown in our city centre by developers and retailers.”
Fishergate is currently the subject of major roadworks as the county council invest £3.4m in making the main shopping street easier for pedestrians.
There are also major works to the roads surrounding Fishergate.
County Councillor John Fillis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “One of the key reasons for carrying out the £3.4 million Fishergate Central Gateway project, which we’re currently working on, is to bring new developments to Preston by making the city centre a more attractive place.
“It’s hugely encouraging that, even before the project is finished, Sainsbury’s have had the vision to see how Preston city centre will be and have chosen to breathe new life into a long-empty building at the heart of Fishergate.”
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Image credit to Philip Mayer