IT’S not just a new store on the horizon for Swindon – it’s a Marks and Spencer Simply Food Store.
If plans submitted to Swindon Council are given the go-ahead, the store could be the latest addition at the Mannington Retail Park, which has undergone a redevelopment programme over the past three years.
It could join some big names already on the site, which include John Lewis at Home, Next Home and Oak Furniture Land.
In a letter submitted alongside the plans, Simply Food UK acquisitions manager Chris Smith said the store would bring approximately 70 jobs to the town.
“The store will generate substantial additional employment in the local area, providing about 70 jobs, with a flexible mix of full and part time positions, with training provided and a defined career route available to all new starters,” he said.
“Our Simply Food concept has been developed since 2001 to bring the M&S brand of high quality food and drink products to a wider range of customers.”
Chris said if the new store goes ahead, it would not in any way affect the town centre store, or the M&S in North Swindon.
“Our interest in Mannington Retail Park reflects our analysis and confidence that there is an unsatisfied demand for our food range in the south western part of the town and the immediate surrounding area, in addition to the demand met by the town centre store and the Orbital Retail Park to the north of Swindon,” he said.
“While the town centre store will continue to provide an opportunity for our customers in that centre, and the Orbital Retail Park will provide for the northern parts of the town, we believe the store at Mannington will complement this, providing a more local convenience offer.”
A spokesman for Peter Brett Associates LLP, which acts on behalf of Scottish Widows Invest-ment Partnership, said: “Mannington Retail Park has been subject to two phases of redevelopment over the last three years. We have been working with the council over the last two years to deliver the second phase to deliver high profile retailers to Swindon, delivering much needed investment and jobs to the borough.
“We have worked closely with the council to ensure the tenant mix complements rather than competes with the town centre.”
A decision on the application is expected to be made by May.