ASDA has set its sights on opening the new £30m store in Edenderry by September, the Portadown Times understands.
The company had initially named December as the likely opening date, but the rapid progress made by contractors clearing the site has helped bring the date forward by two months.
The 110,000 square feet store will occupy a large site taking in part of the Chambers Park grounds, the town’s old gas undertaking and the former Wades Pottery dump, pushing in at the rear of Eden Crescent. There are plans for a Phase Two Retail Park, stretching from ASDA down to Northway, and the two projects will have large car park areas, bounded by Joseph Street.
Other parts of the original plan include 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.
The store will create 350 jobs, and will involve the construction of a new sliproad from Northway, which is already taking place.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson has welcomed the indication that efforts are being made to bring forward the planned opening of the store.
He said, “This much needed investment in the area is a project that I have kept a very close eye on at every stage.
“It will deliver much needed development and regeneration for an area that has been kept waiting for it over many years. The new ASDA store holds out the possibility of a major revitalisation of the Edenderry area.
“There is no doubt that tremendous progress has already been made with the works programme and already the sheer scale of the redevelopment is beginning to take shape.
“In any project of this size there can always be hitches that can put back proposed timelines, so there is a still a way to go before the tills are ringing. But this indication following the already rapid progress is very heartening.”
“Hopefully, very soon, a major step in the resurgence of this part of Portadown will have been taken with the opening of this flagship store.”