Sainsbury’s has proved a big miss since it closed its doors in Station Road in October, with hundreds of residents signing a petition to keep it as a retail outlet.
Since then, a number of rumours have surfaced about what could be replacing the supermarket, with Waitrose the latest to confirm they are not considering the site in response to rumours circulating.
Now, the owners of the popular site have come forward to address rumours and give residents peace of mind on the future of the amenity.
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North East Commercial and Residential Limited (NECR) say they are in talks with potential tenants and that the interests of the local community is at the forefront of discussions for the future of the site.
A spokesperson from NECR said: “Lofthouse and Partners have been instructed on this site since before Sainsbury’s announced they were closing the store. “Once Sainsbury’s served notice, a targeted marketing campaign began immediately which resulted in new tenants being secured (subject to contract and planning approval) with the hope the property will be reoccupied and trading later this year.
"The owners realise the importance of this store to the local community and Lofthouse and Partners were specifically tasked with finding tenants that would improve amenities for the people of Fulwell. If all goes to plan we feel we will have delivered on this.
"We appreciate the concerns of the local community but we have been unable to comment on speculation until Sainsbury’s exit from the property had been agreed. These discussions were concluded last week which means enabling works can now commence.
"We are aware of a variety of wild rumours from Wetherspoons to Waitrose. We are not in a position to announce who will be taking occupation just yet for contractual reasons, however, can confirm the site is not going to be redeveloped as a pub or knocked down for housing as some have suggested.
“We hope to deliver two new tenants to the site who will improve the retail amenity for the residents of Fulwell which has always been the goal for the owners.”
A further announcement is set to be made once contracts are agreed and exchanged.