Morrisons’ expansion to create jobs boost

B&Q in Bamber Bridge

B&Q in Bamber Bridge

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Hundreds of jobs are set to be created in South Ribble by supermarket giant Morrisons.

A new store is set for Bamber Bridge under a deal with B&Q which will create 300 new jobs, it has been announced.

B&Q and Morrisons have exchanged contracts in a deal which will see B&Q’s existing store at South Rings Business Park in Bamber Bridge converted to provide a new format B&Q store and a new Fresh Format Morrisons foodstore.

Bosses say rents at their DIY superstore on Craven Drive are ‘unsustainable’ so a deal has been struck where the unit is split in two, with a new supermarket to fill the gap.

James Brook, head of acquisitions in the North for Morrisons, said: “This agreement with B&Q is great news for Bamber Bridge as well as Morrisons.

“Our new store will create new local job opportunities, all with real career and training prospects.”

Morrisons has initiated the pre-application process with South Ribble Council and is proposing a foodstore with a sales area of approximately 62,000 sq ft.

Dates for a public consultation exhibition on the emerging plans are expected to be announced soon, and a planning application submitted following the consultation process.

Purposely designed for the area, the Fresh Format Morrisons foodstore will provide a full range of goods and services.

B&Q has informed its store employees of its intention to reduce the size of its operation, creating a new store of approximately 83,000 sq ft sales area, and will remain open throughout the proposed conversion works.

No jobs are expected to be lost at Morrisons’ remaining store on Station Road, or at B&Q, but 300 new full and part-time jobs will becreated.

Scott Sharp, West divisional director at B&Q, said: “The new size store will include new features and services that will not only inspire customers but will also help them to undertake their home improvement projects.

“This deal will enable us to continue to serve our Bamber Bridge customers to the highest possible standard and we are committed to working with Morrisons to enhance the whole shopping experience on the site.”