|Waitrose To Return To Acton if Oaks Development Approved|
Big announcement from Acton Regeneration Company
If the Oaks development scheme gets the go-ahead Waitrose will be the main tenant.
The news has just been released from Acton Regeneration Company who sent the below release:
The multi-million pound investment in the heart of Acton would include a major upgrade of the existing High Street façade and frontage, including a new atrium, a new supermarket, shops to the rear, restaurants along Churchfield Road and 142 new homes.
The potential arrival of Waitrose would mark a return to Acton for the supermarket chain after an absence of nearly 90 years. The retailer opened its first ever store on Acton Hill as part of Acton High Street in 1904 before closing the branch in 1924.
The proposed new Waitrose would create up to 200 new jobs for local people with all employees becoming Partners in the John Lewis Partnership. This would entitle them to benefits including a share in profits. Earlier this year all staff received the equivalent of nine weeks wages in bonus so a significant proportion of profits will go back into the local area.
The project would also bring 250 construction jobs for each year of build, together with at least 70 permanent new full time jobs. In all, it represents an investment in excess of £40 million into the regeneration of Acton Town Centre.
Waitrose Director of Development, Nigel Keen, said:
“We opened the first ever Waitrose shop in Acton in 1904 so this is very much us going back to our roots. Acton marked a milestone in our history and we would welcome the opportunity to achieve a long-standing ambition to return here to make a positive contribution to its future.”
John Bourne, of the Acton Regeneration Company, said:
“If Waitrose is able to open here the regeneration benefits they will bring to Acton as our anchor tenant will be considerable. Waitrose will be just the start. This will be good news for shoppers, good news for other retailers and good news for jobs.”
In response to recent concerns raised by Ealing Central and Acton MP, Angie Bray, John Bourne added:
“The upgrade to the High Street façade, link through to Churchfield Road and self-contained service yard will transform the site as a place for people to work and shop.”
Local MP, Angie Bray who has already expressed her concerns about the scheme has responded to the news:
'' The return of Waitrose to Acton is of course a welcome development and certainly a step forward in terms of regenerating this corner of Acton. I remain to be convinced however that there won't be problems in terms of traffic congestion created by the large number of heavy vehicles delivering to the supermarket and then departing.
'' Neither does it alter serious questions about the design of the rest of the development, built to a height and density which will blight the skyline and the local conservation area.
'' I also remain disappointed that, apart from a new Waitrose store, there are no plans to upgrade and modernise the rest of the shopping centre which could play such an important part in giving Acton High Street the uplift it needs and deserves. This key site is unlikely to come up again anytime soon and we shouldn't squander this opportunity.''
What do you think? Discuss on the forum.
Sept 27th 2013