Morrisons signs a deal for store at Locks Heath centre

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A SHOPPING centre will soon be welcoming a change to its supermarket.

An agreement has been signed to let Morrisons replace the Co-operative in Locks Heath with a store almost twice the size.

NewRiver Retail, which runs Locks Heath Shopping Village, announced this week it has signed a significant pre-lease agreement with Morrisons. The move will be welcome news to residents who have often complained about the lack of choice and stock provided by the Co-op.

Depending on certain land acquisition deals going through and planning permission being granted by the council, the supermarket would be a major extension for the centre.

Morrisons has agreed, subject to the conditions being met, to lease the 71,000 sq ft food store for 25 years.

NewRiver believes the Morrisons store would be a significant enhancement with the potential to transform the shopping experience and drive footfall to other retailers in the centre.

Allan Lockhart, property director at NewRiver said: ‘We are delighted to have signed this important agreement with a Morrisons which will anchor the enlarged Locks Heath Shopping Centre.

‘We are now planning to begin the process of presenting our masterplan for the centre to the local authority.

‘The agreement is a significant endorsement by a leading UK food retailer and marks a positive step forward in the progression of our enhancement plans for the shopping centre.’

Morrisons development executive David Bevan said: ‘We’re delighted to have entered into this agreement and looking forward to bringing the Morrisons offer to Locks Heath.’

Plans for a new supermarket and shopping centre in Locks Heath were drawn up by the council at the end of last year. These plans prompted the Co-op to come up with a counter-proposal, which included extending and revamping its store.

The News approached the Co-op, but the company declined to comment, saying that it was too early for it to make a statement. The previous proposals, which included building a new fitness centre and swimming pool in Locks Heath centre, could possibly now be placed on land at Coldeast Manor, after its restoration was secured by money from a government agency.