Tesco claims £22 million Chatteris store will open next summer
- Credit: Archant
The £22million Tesco store in Chatteris which was mothballed last month will open next summer.
MP Steve Barclay says he has been reassured by Adam Williams, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, that the supermarket giant is still committed to opening the store.
Tesco will start fitting out the store in April with a view to opening next summer, MP Barclay was told.
The promised 250 jobs will be advertised 12 weeks before the store opens.
Mr Williams said: “It was a difficult decision to delay opening of the store but we are coming to Chatteris, and we are looking forward to serving the local community.
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“We have been going through a difficult period of business and we have had to take some difficult decisions.”
Mr Williams said the Chatteris supermarket is one of just two new stores to be left as shells until the start of the new financial year.
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He also promised to give a written explanation as to why the company was pushing for a store in Whittlesey, while it did not have the financial capability to complete the one at Chatteris.
Mr Barclay said: “Tesco clearly has questions to answer over why they were pushing for a store in Whittlesey at the same time they must have known they did not have the money to open a store already being built in Chatteris.
“Given Tesco already have three main supermarkets in Wisbech, March and Chatteris, it could be argued they were closing out the competition and distorting the area market preventing Fenland residents in Whittlesey and elsewhere from benefiting from competition.
“The consequence of Tesco’s dispute with Sainsbury’s has been that Fenland taxpayers have had to pick up the costs associated with the legal dispute, so it is clear Tesco has questions to answer over continuing it at a time when it didn’t have the money to open a store already being built.
“I welcome the confirmation and assurance given to me from Tesco today of their intention to still open in Chatteris next summer.
“However, given the detriment caused to Chatteris from this delay, I have also challenged Tesco as to what community grants they might give in the interim to support good causes in the town as a way of saying sorry for the delay.”