PLANS by two retail giants to open and refurbish stores on Wearside are set to go before the public.
DIY chain B&Q has signed a deal with supermarket Morrisons which will see B&Q’s Trimdon Street store converted into a new format B&Q and a new Fresh Format Morrisons foodstore.
The companies say the move will create more than 300 local Morrisons jobs.
B&Q has informed its store employees of its intention to reduce the size of its own operation, creating a new store with a gross area of about 45,000sq ft, together with a new 30,000 sq ft garden centre.
The firm employs 85 people at the store and has maintained “no decision has been taken to change this headcount”.
Now, ahead of a planning application being submitted to Sunderland City Council, residents have been invited to two public consultation exhibitions.
Richard Haynes, Morrisons development executive, said: “We hope for a good turnout at the event, as we are interested to hear what local people think of the proposal.”
The public consultation events will take place at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens in Burdon Road, next Thursday from 3pm to 7.30pm, and St Mark’s Community Association, St Mark’sTerrace, Millfield, the following day from 10am to 4.30pm.
Steven Blair, B&Q covering divisional director (North), said the move would “safeguard the future of our Sunderland store and our employees”.