THREE possible sites for a new supermarket in Spalding are set to be revealed next week, while the man hoping to regenerate the town says he has been contacted by a call centre that wants to bring hundreds of jobs to the town.
Richard Garvie, chief executive of Sustainable Spalding, has been speaking to landowners to try to find three options for a new large scale food store in the town.
Rumours persist that big chains are interested in moving here – with the Spalding bus station/Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field and the former Welland Hospital site both mentioned to the Spalding Guardian as options.
Mr Garvie says that he would oppose both of those options and wants to survey residents – asking which of his three options they prefer and giving them a fourth option – that they do not want to see another supermarket in Spalding.
He said: “If we have another supermarket coming to Spalding it’s going to kill the town centre unless it provides funds for improvements, such as the cinema, better integrated transport and new shops.
“We have spoken to a number of retailers and there is interest in coming to Spalding but unfortunately we don’t have the units that are big enough to attract them.
“Another problem is footfall but a cinema would address that to a certain extent.
“I will only support a new supermarket if it helps deliver significant investment and if someone wants to put a supermarket on the Sir Halley Stewart or the Welland Hospital I will stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the town against that.”
Mr Garvie estimates a development at the Welland Hospital, which is up for sale and set to be demolished, would not deliver enough money by way of investment into the town while the bus station/Sir Halley Stewart would involve a big upheaval of that part of the town.
He said that since we first revealed his vision for the town a call centre based in Nottingham has contacted him about the possibility of moving to Spalding.
The firm is thought to want to bring several hundred jobs if it were to move.
Mr Garvie said: “People are looking at Spalding and the council needs to harness all this positive energy and help bring it forward.”
Today we have revealed that South Holland District Council has concerns about Mr Garvie’s plans, and feels he is making promises that he will not be able to fulfil.