IOW To Get First Asda Store

ASDA is set to open its first Isle of Wight store after agreeing a land deal with the IW Council.

Subject to planning permission, the retailer plans to open a 45,000 sq ft superstore with a cafe and petrol station on land acquired from the council at St George's Way on the outskirts of Newport.

The company expects to create up to 450 jobs at its new store and has also pledged to enter into a Local Employment Partnership working alongside Job Centre Plus to recruit staff.

Welcoming the agreement, Councillor George Brown, IW Council cabinet member responsible for the economy, said:

"Not only have we secured a very healthy capital receipt for the land, we have also attracted a quality national retailer that is prepared to invest heavily in the local economy.

"As well as providing consumers with more choice, ASDA's arrival also has considerable potential to open up lucrative new markets for local suppliers and provide welcome and significant employment opportunities for the Island's workforce.

"We had a number of offers on the table and we are confident ASDA's proposal is the right one for the Island."

Cllr Brown said the council would now seek to work with ASDA - as it had with other recent investors such as Vestas and Waitrose - to ensure the company was aware of the local planning issues it will need to consider if it is to submit development proposals of the quality that the council would expect.

"Economic regeneration is a major priority for this council. At a difficult time, this latest scheme will hopefully continue to underline the message that we are a council that actively encourages and facilitates appropriate inward investment," Cllr Brown said.

Jonathan Refoy, Head of Property Communications for ASDA said:

"ASDA is delighted to have been selected by the Isle of Wight Council to submit a planning application for the St George's Way site in Newport. Residents do not currently have the opportunity to shop in a local ASDA store and we are looking forward to bringing ASDA's famous low prices, greater choice and more competition to the Island and boosting the local economy.
"Our proposal for the site will include a store, an ASDA cafe and an ASDA petrol station, all of which are expected to create up to 450 jobs for local people. Recently conducted research with local residents tells us that they would like to see more choice in both food and non food on the Island.

"If approved, the store will also carry an ASDA non food range including homewares, toys, electronics and George clothing. Our Isle of Wight customers will therefore benefit from the same ranges that they enjoy when they visit our mainland stores.

"We will be consulting fully on the details of our proposal with local residents in the first quarter of 2011, with a view to submitting a planning application as soon as possible after that. If we receive planning permission for the store, we could be in a position to open by the end of 2012.

"We look forward to working closely with the Isle of Wight Council and with the community to shape a proposal that meets local expectations and deliver this investment."