PLANS for a new food store on a key site in Bromsgrove Town Centre are being drawn up by Aldi after the supermarket giant acquired it from two local businessmen.
The one-and-a-half acre Birmingham Road / Stourbridge Road site, housing the former DDS&S Club, the old MG Rover car showroom and Imagination Street, was sold by Doug and Malcolm Clark and will now see a multi-million pound investment in the town centre, bringing up to 40 full and part-time jobs to the town. Additional employment would be created through the building of the store and for supply chain businesses.
Speaking exclusively to The Bromsgrove Standard, Aldi said it was currently drawing up the proposals for the site and would be holding a public consultation in the coming weeks. That exhibition will give residents the chance to view the proposals and provide feedback on the proposed development before the plans are submitted to Bromsgrove District Council.
A spokesperson for Aldi said: “We are excited about the prospect of delivering a new Aldi store for this part of Bromsgrove, and are confident that this is the right location to increase our local offering.
“Our plans represent a substantial investment that would transform the site, improve shoppers’ choice and increase access to food stores in the town.
“We want to work with the community and will shortly be inviting people to a public exhibition on our initial plans.”
Aldi added it was planning to keep its supermarket on Sherwood Road, as well as the second one.
Brothers Doug and Malcolm Clark have had businesses in Bromsgrove for the last 50 years.
“This has not been an easy journey.
“We are of course aware the public didn’t like the boarded up buildings anymore than we did.”
He added the pair had been close to selling the land before with deals to two other high profile retailers and a joint venture with Bromsgrove District Council to create a continental style shopping centre.
Doug added there was a a touch of deja vu about this latest deal as the Clarks sold the land which brought Bromsgrove its first supermarket.
Matt Jinks, who co-owns Imagination Street with Kevin Grubb, said: “We would obviously be disappointed if Imagination Street had to close in Bromsgrove and I know a lot of local children and their parents would be too.
“We have worked hard over the last six years to build up the business and its reputation and have become an integral part of the Bromsgrove community.
“I’m a Bromsgrove resident myself and feel we have done a lot for the young people in the town, including setting up a monthly autism club, monthly youth club for eight to 12-year-olds and have worked closely with Chadsgrove Special School to provide physical activities for them.
“Aldi has said the proposals are up for discussion at the consultation and at one and a half acres it is a massive site – let us hope there is some way Bromsgrove can have its new multi-million pound development and keep our popular play centre as well.”
He added a 12-month extension for Imagination Street had been signed at the end of May.
Bromsgrove District Council’s portfolio holder for the town centre, Coun Rita Dent, said: “I’m sure residents will welcome the news that the owners of this land could be moving closer to redeveloping it.
“It’s been empty and deteriorating and in need of a new lease of life for a while now.
“The council has previously identified it as one of the key town centre regeneration sites and we look forward to a suitable planning application coming before the planning committee.”
Anyone wanting further information about the site can contact call Aldi’s project team on the free information line on 0800 298 7040.