Discount supermarket chain Aldi has announced multi-million-pound plans to open a new store in Melton.
The retailer wants to redevelop the former ambulance station site on Leicester Road and it plans to hold a public exhibition consultation as early as the end of this month or early next month.
Aldi said it had ‘acquired an interest’ in the site, which has been vacant for two years, ahead of a planning application being submitted to Melton Council.
The retailer recorded it’s biggest ever annual growth of 35.3 per cent last year to take five per cent of the UK grocery market and plans to open 60 new stores this year.
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “We’re very excited about the prospect of bringing our award-winning products to the town, to provide improved choice for both residents of Melton Mowbray and the surrounding area.
“The plans are still at an early stage but we’re keen to ensure the views of the local community are heard before we progress.
“A community newsletter will be sent to residents in the coming weeks to provide more information on the plans and we’re hoping to hold a public exhibition shortly after that.”
The budget chain added that in the meantime residents could call a freephone information line on the Melton project on 0800 2987040.
The news from Aldi comes as fellow thriving budget chain, Lidl, began building work this week on their new store on land currently occupied by the vacant Crown House offices on Scalford Road. The Lidl store is planned to open this summer.
Both Lidl and Aldi would expect to employ 40 people in full and part-time roles at their respective new stores.
The Melton Chamber of Trade welcomed the news as a boost for the local economy and for residents who have struggled in austere times.
President Ron Marks said he expected fewer shoppers would leave the town to visit Aldi and Lidl stores in Grantham when the new shops are open in Melton and that footfall would increase in the town centre, benefitting other businesses as a result.
He said: “The chamber supported the Lidl plans and we will also support the Aldi plans.
“Their prices are very competitive so people will have more money in their pockets to use elsewhere in the town.
“Having an Aldi store on Leicester Road will also be fantastic for those who live on the south side of Melton because all the other new supermarkets have been in the north and west of the town.”
Melton Council’s lead member for the town centre, Pam Posnett, said: “I welcome the investment coming into the town and the jobs this would create but we need to look at the impact this could have on other businesses in the town.”
Leicestershire County Council, which owns the Leicester Road site, has declined to reveal the price it is being sold for until the sale has been completed.
A spokesman said: “The site has been sold, subject to contract, and we’re hoping for completion in the next few months.”
He added that The Mount day care centre, which currently operates sessions from the Leicester Road site, would be re-located elsewhere in the town.
l What do you think about the prospect of Aldi coming to Melton and its store potentially being built at the old ambulance station site on Leicester Road? Will a new Aldi and Lidl store be good for the town? Email your views to our editor, Paul Richardson, at firstname.lastname@example.org