Tesco Wisbech Development

TESCO already have a substantial supermarket on the periphery of town so what’s in building a new store for them, seeing as the new building, we are told, would not be “significantly” bigger than the existing site.

If I’ve got it right, Tesco want to develop the former stadium site in Cromwell Road (they can then lease parts of it to other retailers). Tesco will also convert its present store to nine retail shops (a terrace - sounds idyllic; rustic paving, trailing plants, wooden seating) which they will also control, shifting ownership of these sites from the council to one private company. Is such a monopoly good.

New retail and leisure has to be a good thing doesn’t it … I’m not a shop or business owner but can sympathise with the view that out of town developments damage town centre traders .. and, in turn, the town centre.

Much has been said over the years about the centre of town needing to be busy and vibrant. If Tesco, or anyone else wants to develop a new shopping environment and add to our local shopping experience why not take on sites close to the town centre that are in need of refreshing – site of Belfast store for the proposed shopping terrace - include a Tesco Metro (raise the terrace so a walkway can overlook the river), demolished Blackfriars pub site for eateries (close to town, albeit over through road – crossing can be improved -, but also very close to the town park which could be encouraged to host more events with new facilities adjacent).

As for the idea of an eight-screen cinema … is there any real reason for this close to Wisbech. Many positive comments have been made about The Luxe in Alexandra Road which is becoming established as a friendly, personal, venue to see a film and meet like minded people. It has a small auditorium and doesn’t always fill that. Are we to believe that there are hoards of Wisbech folk driving out of town to see films on the day they are released rather than waiting a week or two to visit their local picture house.

If Tesco really want to add to the local good, let them consider the brief ideas mentioned here. True, the former stadium site would remain as it is, but by developing the town and showing that Wisbech can be a good shopping location, a company may be encouraged to take it on in the near future, enlarging the shopping sphere of influence rather than simply relocating it.

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