New life for Portchester Precinct as Tesco announces its opening date - bringing 23 jobs
HOPES are high that new life will be brought to a shopping precinct with the arrival of new stores.
Tesco has announced that it is opening its newest Express store in Portchester Precinct on December 21 - bringing 23 new jobs to the area.
The store, in West Street, is opening in the former Co-op unit, which closed in January.
The large unit has been divided into four parts, with Tesco taking the largest part, a hot food takeaway potentially moving in to one of the units, an entrance way created to eight flats and one other unit, which is still to be let.
Roger Price, Portchester East ward councillor, welcomed the news.
He said: ‘The Co-op closing left a great big hole in Portchester, but this will breathe new life into the precinct,.
‘With Tesco and the new takeaway coming, plus eight flats, it will bring more people into the precinct, who will then in turn support the other shops.
‘We all expected the Co-op unit to be empty for a long time, but dividing it up in this way has been really great news.
‘The area was dead at the beginning of this year but hopefully this will bring better prospects for 2021.'
Tesco said that it is keen to support the community and it will be offering funding for local good causes through its Bags of Help scheme, as well as setting up a food bank donation point.
George Hall, Tesco’s store manager, said that supporting the area’s 18,000 residents will be hugely important to store staff in the coming years.
He said: ‘We’re extremely excited to be opening our Portchester Express store and helping to serve the community during these challenging times.
‘Tesco believes in Portchester’s town centre and its future. We are investing in the community by employing and training local people, and it’ll be a pleasure to see them develop and improve.
‘Our colleagues come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with many finding stable employment positions hard to find or have sought career changes because of the pandemic. We are excited to welcome so much
new talent and experience into our Tesco team.’
A planning application has been submitted to Fareham Borough Council to convert the remaining part of the building into a hot food takeaway unit, with the proposed tenant being Domino’s. This is due to be decided on December 23.
For more go to fareham.gov.uk, search reference P/20/1292/AD
Separate planning applications are also being considered to convert the first floor into eight flats.