Planning approval for new £6m M&S food store in Banbridge

Computer generated visuals produced in support of the new M&S store planned for Bridgewater Park, Banbridge.

PLANS for a new £6 million Marks and Spencer food hall in Banbridge have been approved by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s planning committee.

The application was brought by Co Tyrone firm Gortalowry Developments will see two retails units constructed at vacant land close to the Boulevard Retail Park.

Tesco and Home Bargains currently occupy units at the site, while work has commenced to south east on a new park and ride facility for the Game of Thrones tourist attraction on the Castlewellan Road.

In total, 10 retail warehousing units have been approved for the site. Units four and six had been approved as 1,500sqm retail warehouses while unit five was approved as a 1,000sqm retail warehouse unit.

This proposal will amalgamate unit five and six to provide one new retail unit that will be occupied by Marks and Spencer.

Gortalowry Developments seeking to develop unit four into a bulky retail warehouse of 1,000sqm with an additional 160sqm mezzanine floor.

The new M&S food hall is expected to create 70 jobs.

Reacting to the approval, local councillor Brian Pope said: "This is more great news for Banbridge, as it will bring in more shoppers and visitors, not just to the Bridgewater Park and the Boulevard area, but to the town centre and wider area too."

M&S already operates an outlet store at the nearby Boulevard, which stocks clothing and home products.

But the retailer has been placing more focus on the food side of its business.

Last month the supermarket chain announced plans for a new food store in Coleraine.

M&S is also expanding its food offering at the Crescent Link retail park in Derry.

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