Planning approval for a new £ 6million M&S grocery store in Banbridge

PLANS for a new £ 6million Marks and Spencer food hall in Banbridge have been approved by the City Council planning committee for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

The application was filed by the company Co Tyrone Gortalowry Developments will see two retail units built on vacant land near Boulevard Retail Park.

Tesco and Home Bargains are currently occupying units on the site, while work has started in the southeast on a new park and ride for the Game of Thrones tourist attraction on Castlewellan Road.

A total of 10 retail storage units have been approved for the site. Units four and six had been approved as 1,500 m² retail warehouses while unit five was approved as 1,000 m² retail warehouse.

This proposal will merge units five and six to provide a new retail unit to be occupied by Marks and Spencer.

Gortalowry Developments is looking to develop Unit Four into a large 1000m² retail warehouse with an additional 160m² mezzanine.

The new M&S food hall is expected to create 70 jobs.

Reacting to the approval, local councilor Brian Pope said: “This is great news for Banbridge as it will attract more shoppers and visitors, not only to Bridgewater Park and the Boulevard area, but also to downtown and the wider area. “

M&S already operates a factory outlet on the nearby boulevard, which stocks clothes and home products.

But the retailer has focused more on the food aspect of its business.

Last month, the supermarket chain announced plans for a new food store in Coleraine.

M&S is also expanding its food offering in the Crescent Link shopping park in Derry.

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