Discount food retailer Aldi has unveiled plans to build a new store in Ripon which it says will create 30 new full- and part-time jobs.
The company is preparing a proposal to redevelop the former gasworks site on Stonebridgegate and has launched a public consultation before it submits a planning application.
A spokesman for Aldi said: “We are excited about the prospect of coming to Ripon. We believe the proposed site offers an important opportunity to deliver a much-needed premium discount food store to the city and improve customer choice.”
The company – whose nearest outlets to Ripon are at Catterick Garrison and York – claims a store in the city would “complement Ripon’s existing pattern of trading, helping to keep spending local and driving business to other nearby shops and retailers within the city centre, increasing local viability and vitality”.
It says this is because it focuses on 1,300 product lines – with no tobacco sales, in-store butcher, fishmonger or bakery – while other supermarkets may stock more than 20,000 lines. The planned store would be 1,532sq m, with a sales area of 1,140sq m.
The spokesman said: “A new Aldi situated close to the city centre will help to keep spending local, reducing the need for residents to travel out of Ripon to complete their weekly shopping needs due to current lack of shopping choice.”
The proposals are still being digested by Ripon and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
Its secretary, Don Grundy, said: “The chamber hasn’t formulated a view yet and we’re not ready to make too much of a comment until we have seen the proposals and spoken to Aldi about what their plans are and how they see themselves fitting into the city.”
Speaking in a personal capacity, however, Mr Grundy said: “It’s good news in as much as a new company is looking to move into the city and sees there’s potential to bring a whole new supermarket complex to the city.
“It’s also good to develop that site, which has been an eyesore for some time.”
Aldi is staging an exhibition of its plans at Allhallowgate Methodist Church Hall on Victoria Grove on Thursday, December 19, from 3pm-7pm, and is encouraging members of the public to see the preliminary plans and give their views.
Residents requiring further information can telephone the project’s dedicated freephone information line number on 0800 298 7040 or email email@example.com