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Supermarket giant targets £6 million Co Armagh investment with TWO ‘new’ stores

Supermarket giant Lidl is planning to invest in excess of £6 million in County Armagh – with TWO stores in the pipeline.

And the proposals – if given the go-ahead – will sustain 10 jobs and create 14 more.

A new store – representing an investment of over £5.2 million – is planned for Lurgan.

And, at the same time, the retailer hopes to demolish its Craigavon store and build a bigger and better outlet in its place.

Armagh I understands very early cost indications for that development to be in the region of £1 million, although it could prove to be substantially higher.

Both Lurgan and Craigavon already have Lidl stores.

In Craigavon, the outlet is located at the Highfield site on the Balteagh Road.

The retailer has this week for the new development to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Lidl hopes to demolish the existing store and build a new one in its place. The floorspace would be increased by almost a third – up to 2,435 sq metres from 1668 sq metres.

It would allow the discount supermarket to extend its range of goods in store and it is anticipated that four additional jobs would be created.

Meanwhile, Lidl is aiming for a move to a “more accessible” location in neighbouring Lurgan.

The supermarket opened at Castle Lane in the town in December 1999, on a vacant site beside the old Tesco at Castle Lane.

Lidl now wants to relocate to a new site at a partially-constructed retail park.

The Pinehurst development consists of nine units; four of these are occupied and the remainder have always been vacant.

Lidl wants to amalgamate three of the vacant outlets into one 2,400 sq ft store.

Plans are also before Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

A retail impact study presented to planning officials said the move would represent an investment of in the region of £5.2 million. It says it would be more accessible and 156 car parking spaces would be available at the site.

If all goes according to plan and approval is given, the intention is to have the new Lidl store opened before the end of this year.

Ten jobs would be transferred from the Castle Lane store to the new site, while a further 10 would be created, planners have been told.

Decisions on both applications will be returned in due course.

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