TESCO has finally confirmed that the Northcott supermarket will close this weekend.
The retailer has said the store will close at 6pm this Saturday, April 23, confirming our story three weeks ago that the store would close on the same date.
Work has started on the multi-million pound Sandyknowes Shopping Centre which when finished will include a Tesco Extra, petrol filling station and new retail units.
The new state-of-the-art centre will replace the out-dated and dilapidated Northcott.
While construction takes place Tesco will be providing a free shuttle bus service to take customers to the Carnmoney Road and Abbey Retail Park branches.
Shane Murphy, Property Manager for Tesco in Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted that work is starting on the contemporary Sandyknowes Shopping Centre.
“Tesco will return as the anchor tenant with a store that is around twice the size of our current Northcott store. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any short-term inconvenience during essential construction works.”
He continued: “The existing building is out-dated so the current owners, Blanca Developments, obtained planning permission for a rebuild of the centre.”
“We realise that a lot of customers live close to Northcott and walk to the store, so we are providing a free shuttle bus to our neighbouring stores, to minimise any inconvenience to customers.
“A timetable for this service is available at the customer services desk of our current Northcott store.”
Following a tender process, Newtownabbey based construction firm McLaughlin & Harvey will be building the new centre. The company is a member of the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme, which ensures that people living close to developments are inconvenienced as little as possible while work takes place. This development will secure construction jobs for around 250 people at a time when the industry is struggling.
Mr Murphy continued: “All our employees will be accommodated in our neighbouring stores while the centre is built. They will return when the new store opens, complemented by a wide range of new full and part-time retail positions.”
Meanwhile, representatives from the local traders’ association have asked to meet with Tesco to discuss plans to help develop business in Glengormley town centre.
Mr Murphy added: “We are happy to work with traders across Glengormley and the traders’ group to ensure that customers who visit our new store are encouraged to continue their shopping in other nearby stores.”
It is hoped that the new Tesco Extra will open before Christmas, possibly at the end of November.