Supermarkets set to go head-to-head in Huntingdonshire as rivals eye up sites

Aldi aim to open store in Edison Bell Way, Huntingdon by Autumn 2016

Aldi aim to open store in Edison Bell Way, Huntingdon by Autumn 2016 - Credit: Archant

Plans for what could be the fifth supermarket to be built in Huntingdon have been backed by business leaders.

Budget supermarket Aldi announced that it is targeting the Spenhill Development site in Edison Bell Way for a potential new store, a matter of weeks after rival retailer Lidl began work on its new store in nearby Stukeley Road.

Chairman of Huntingdonshire Federation of Small Businesses, Malcolm Lyons said: “It is inevitable that as Lidl has come to town that Aldi would be interested in Huntingdon.”

Huntingdon already has branches of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Waitrose.

“It is about competitiveness, if they feel Huntingdon is the right place for them then so be it. From the public perspective if it is bringing competition and cheaper food then that is good.”

Mr Lyons hopes that Aldi will work with small business to put local food on the shelves, however the discount supermarket has announced that it would predominately stock own brand products.

“It is a way to give small businesses an opening, someone has to supply the own brand products and if it means money for businesses then it’s a good opportunity even if it doesn’t have their logo on it.”

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In a leaflet sent out to Huntingdon residents this week Aldi said: “A new Aldi on Edison Bell Way, to the west of the town centre, would help regenerate an important area of Huntingdon and provide a convenient place for food shopping, making use of the new ring road and bringing more trade back to the town centre.”

The proposals would create up to 50 new jobs and “Aldi would actively seek to recruit people from the local area to fill these positions”.

A full planning application hasn’t yet been submitted by Aldi to Huntingdonshire District Council for the site in Edison Bell Way, but consultation work is already under way.

The news comes as the two supermarket chains have also released rival plans to open up stores in Eaton Socon - just a few hundred yards apart from each other.

Aldi have exchanged contracts for the sale of land at the junction of The Great North Road and Howard Road and construction work on the supermarket is “progressing”, according to the company.

On the opposite side of the road, Lidl has submitted revised plans to Huntingdonshire District Council to build on the former St Neots Motor Company site, in what would be its second store in the town.