Reassurance sought over Morrisons supermarket plan

Lib Dem Councillor Niall Hodson outside the B&Q store in Sunderland, where part of the unit was due to be turned into a Morrisons.
Lib Dem Councillor Niall Hodson outside the B&Q store in Sunderland, where part of the unit was due to be turned into a Morrisons.
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A supermarket firm has been urged to commit to plans to open a new store after doubt was cast over the future of its expansion.

Morrisons has said it is carrying out a review of its new store formats, which has put the future of the shop it is due to open in Murton’s Dalton Park in question.

I’ve written to Morrisons to ask for an update, and will be urging them to commit to this new store in Deptford.

Councillor Niall Hodson

News that the business is evaluating its proposed stores has raised concerns with Sunderland’s Liberal Democrat ward member, as the company is also due to open a shop in part of B&Q in Trimdon Street, Sunderland.

A section of the homeware shop has been sectioned off ready for its arrival.

Councillor Niall Hodson, who represents the Millfield Ward, has contacted Morrisons urging them to commit to the plan.

The Echo contacted the company several times, without reply.

The supermarket chain first announced the plan in 2014, which was due to create 300 jobs.

The Dalton Park scheme is also set to create hundreds of jobs, if it goes ahead.

The company has already signed a 25-year lease for the property and has been handed the keys.

Councillor Hodson said: “The plans for a new Morrisons store next to B&Q in Deptford would provide hundreds of local jobs and would bring a supermarket closer to people living in Millfield.

“However, in light of Morrisons’ decision to delay opening new stores like the one in Dalton Park, many residents are now worried as they haven’t heard any news about when the supermarket is due to open, and wonder if it is still going ahead at all.

“I’ve written to Morrisons to ask for an update, and will be urging them to commit to this new store in Deptford.”

B&Q has closed its branch in Ryhope Road, Leechmere, in November and moved its staff to the Trimdon Street store.

Dalton Park’s £45million extension has already seen KFC welcome its first customers on Friday.

Pizza Express will open on Thursday, July 21, followed by Frankie and Benny’s on a date still to be confirmed.