A NEW supermarket – Asco – has made enquiries about moving into Huntingdon High Street, in the premises left empty by Marks and Spencer. However, The Hunts Post has learned that Asco currently has a petition lodged against from a supplier to the company

A NEW supermarket - Asco - has made enquiries about moving into Huntingdon High Street, in the premises left empty by Marks and Spencer.

However, The Hunts Post has learned that Asco currently has a petition lodged against from a supplier to the company which says it is owed more than £25,000.

There are reports that other county court judgements have been made against Asco. Signage company The Evolve Group, based in Haydock Merseyside, has lodged a winding-up petition against Asco Stores, saying it owes them £25,620.81.

The winding-up petition is due to be heard in the commercial court in Liverpool on May 17.

The managing director of Evolve, Paul Davidson, told The Hunts Post: "£25,000 is a lot of money but we will hopefully get over it. For family-run businesses who are owed three or four thousand, though, it's a different story; they could go under."

Asco managing director David Laney was quoted in industry magazine The Grocer last week saying that the Huntingdon store was "close to completion".

However, Huntingdonshire District Council's economic development manager Helen Donnellan told The Hunts Post: "The independent supermarket contacted HDC expressing an interest in the vacant Marks & Spencer's unit. However, we have received no confirmation that they will be taking on the lease."

Asco opened its first branch in Warrington, Lancashire in December and closed last week, saying it was a temporary closure. Staff were laid off within two weeks of the store opening. Others who worked there longer said they had not been paid for several weeks.

The store had opened with the support of Warrington Borough Council. It has a reputation for seeking empty premises, for example those left vacant by Marks & Spencer and Woolworth in town centres, which local authorities are keen to have filled.

Marks & Spencer, which owns the site in Huntingdon High Street, was unable to comment.

The Hunts Post was unable to get in touch with Asco Stores.