A major new supermarket and farm shop is expected to bring 50 jobs to Tandragee, Armagh I can exclusively reveal.
Proposals for the development – on the Portadown Road – are due to be unveiled at a public consultation event next month.
The Woods family – who own the Fruitfield site at Richhill, among others – are behind the ambitious project.
It will see their existing site at Tandragee completely transformed with a new-built supermarket, complete with filling station forecourt.
And the development will also see the addition of a farm shop, stocking the best of local produce.
Car parking to accommodate the expected increase in shoppers, as well as electric vehicle charging points, will also feature in the plans, which are being drawn up by Clarman Architects.
Owner Philip Woods confirmed that the proposals would involve a “significant investment” in the County Armagh town.
While not finalised, as it stands, it is expected that the floorspace of the retail development would stretch to over 15,000 sq ft.
A pre-application notice has been lodged with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, which indicates that the scheme would fall within the ‘major’ category of development.
As such, the public consultation event will take place at the Armagh City Hotel at the end of February, while neighbours living within 200 metres of the site will be written to around the middle of next month.
Philip Woods said the new enterprise – which he described as a “community supermarket”, alongside a local produce farm shop – would create around 50 jobs.
It is a major development for the town and for a business which began lift as a small convenience store, before a Post Office and external units, housing various traders, including a Chinese takeaway and traditional ‘fish and chip’ shop, were added.
Mr Woods, speaking to Armagh I, said the application was part of exciting plans to develop a site they have “outgrown” in recent years.
He added: “The community has supported us so much over the years and hopefully we can take our offering in Tandragee to the next level.
“We’re a little hampered with the site at the minute as it’s no longer fit for purpose. But this new development – if approved – will make it a much better fit for the modern day.
“As well as new jobs, this is a significant investment in the area and I am confident will benefit the community for years to come.”
The new site will also include all the amenities and stock to be expected from such a modern-day supermarket development, comprising an extensive range of products, including, but by no means limited to, deli, newspapers and magazines, confectionery, cigarettes and tobacco, bakery, frozen goods, ‘on the go’ food, such as sandwiches and snacks, hot and cold drinks, National Lottery, Post Office facilities and motor services.
The consultation event at the City Hotel will be used to take on board feedback.
These views will then be considered before a planning application, seeking full approval to proceed, is laid before ABC Council, most likely later in the year.