Proposed new Ely superstore CONFIRMED as one of 49 facing the axe by Tesco bosses

An artist's impression of the proposed Tesco superstore in the Octagon Park development, in Ely.

An artist's impression of the proposed Tesco superstore in the Octagon Park development, in Ely. - Credit: Archant

Tesco will NOT be moving to a new superstore in Ely, it confirmed today (Thursday).The retail giant revealed that 43 unprofitable outlets were to close and the opening of 49 stores would be cancelled as part of a package of cost-saving measures.

Tesco has already mothballed its Chatteris store.

Tesco has already mothballed its Chatteris store. - Credit: Archant

The company confirmed to the Ely Standard that the Ely store will be one of those affected by the announcement.

Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive officer, said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am today announcing that we are unable to proceed with 49 planned new store developments across the UK, including our planned store in Ely.

“Our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and my absolute imperative has to be to protect the future of our business for the 300,000 colleagues we employ in communities all over the UK.

“I know that this news will be a real disappointment to many people in the local community and we’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received for our plans. “I am very aware of the importance of the site to the area and I am determined that we will work closely with East Cambridgeshire District Council to find the right solution for the local community.”

As part of its cost-cutting drive, the supermarket giant also plans to relocate its headquarters and cutting overheads by 30 per cent in a bid to save £250 million.

In September, Tesco announced it was mothballing its £22million Chatteris store – just weeks before its scheduled opening – but a spokesman for the company insisted at the time that the decision would have no bearing on the planned Ely store.

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Back in November, Healy Investments was granted planning permission by East Cambridgeshire District Council to build a new Tesco superstore in Angel Drove, a few hundreds yards along the A142 from its current site.

The scheme will also include a hotel, a restaurant overlooking a water feature, a petrol station, seven retail units including a DIY store, and an office.

It is planned that, if Tesco moves, its former store site will be cleared and become part of the planned ‘station gateway’ development – set to feature houses, shops and an upgraded railway station entrance.

Cllr James Palmer, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council: “It is very disappointing to hear Tesco will not be moving forward with their plans to build a new store in Ely. While I understand the pressures which the company face and the need to refocus their business, it is sad to see the loss of so many potential jobs and investment to the district not just now but in the longer term.

“We will speaking to Mantle Estates who own the land where the new store was to be built to see what their plans for the site will now be and also to Tesco to understand what they will be doing with their existing store.”