Felixstowe: Tesco and traders in talks over superstore deal
- Credit: Archant
SUPERMARKET giant Tesco could be forced to shell out a six-figure sum to support traders and improve the town centre if it builds a superstore.
Talks are under way between the company and traders in Felixstowe over a raft of measures to help promote the resort’s shopping centre and make it more attractive to shoppers and visitors.
The aim will be to agree a practical package of action Tesco and Trinity College, Cambridge, would pay for that could make a real difference.
Andrew Rowdon, chairman of Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, said a number of ideas were on the table with the chamber especially keen on securing a town centre manager to organise events and promote the resort.
The chamber is opposing the 30,000sq ft superstore at Walton Green but felt it needed to talk to Tesco as a contingency plan in case the project is approved.
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He said: “What we don’t want is a legal agreement that is a five-minute fly-by-night thing. We are looking at a fair chunk of money here and the object wouild be to secure a three to five year plan, action for the long-term.”
Tesco has already admitted the superstore would take at least £4million of spending away from the town centre every year.
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The legal agreement, called a section 106, will include a cash contribution to support the vitality and viability of the town centre and the Walton High Street shops to pay for web-based marketing and the promotion of special events.
There would also be cash for improvements to public areas such as pavements, signs, lighting, public art, and improvements to shop fronts and other buildings to make the town centre more attractive to visitors and shoppers.
Simon Petar, of Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs department, said: “Tesco wants to work together with the town centre. Walton Green will encourage more people to shop closer to home and it’s a great opportunity to improve the town centre and make a practical difference.
“One meeting has taken place between ourselves and the chamber over what might be included in a section 106 agreement, completely without prejudice.
“We are at a very early stage.”