WORK started in earnest this week on the site clearance for the £30m Asda store at Edenderry.
A total of 350 new jobs will be created and the new superstore should be opened by the end of 2012.
Asda’s senior property communications manager Philip Bartram told the Portadown Times, “We are delighted that work has started. We plan to work with Jobcentre Plus to target employment opportunities in the local area. This is a significant investment in Portadown and we look forward to welcoming shoppers later this year.”
The final hurdle for the 110,000 square feet store was removed in September, the deadline for objections and none were lodged.
And Asda have wasted little time getting on site, with the siteworks evident as the massive area is cleared. The store at Watson Street - including a spacious car park - will occupy a large site embracing part of the Chambers Park complex, the old gas undertaking, the former Wade Pottery factory and on towards Eden Crescent.
It is the major part of the old VICO plan, which includes a large retail park, recreation facilities, social housing, industrial and warehousing developments, right to the banks of the Bann, plus a pedestrian bridge over the river, and it will be the major catalyst to get it up and running.
VICO first mooted the overall scheme almost 20 years ago, but most of the overall site has lain derelict waiting for the green light, with Edenderry having been a vibrant business and residential community in the past.
However, there has seen swift movement over the past year, with the plans completed and agreement last April for the road connection from Northway that will make Edenderry accessible to through traffic.