RESIDENTS who want superstore shopping in Barnoldswick have stepped up their “Yes to Tesco” campaign.
While thousands of leaflets were distributed to homes across the town calling for letters of objection to be sent to Pendle Council, a group has been garnering support for exactly the opposite.
Marc Jackson has helped to run a “Say Yes to Barnoldswick Tesco” Facebook page, with 184 fans, and said that many people in the town would like to see a supermarket closer to home.
“I think we speak for a lot of people in Barnoldswick when we say that we would welcome the new Tesco store. I’ve seen some leaflets opposing the Tesco and that’s very frustrating as people I have spoken to certainly believe that it will keep more people shopping in Barnoldswick.
“Like most people, I have to travel to either Skipton or Colne to do my weekly shop, and I’d certainly use town centre shops more if there was a supermarket on the doorstep so I didn’t have to travel out of town as much.
“It seems the majority of people are in favour of the application, so we need to make our voices heard.”
Myra Durrant, who runs Sarah’s Dressmakers in the town centre, said that local traders should not fear a new supermarket arriving in the town.
She said: “We should welcome competition. I speak to so many people that travel outside of Barnoldswick to do their shopping because there’s not enough choice in Barnoldswick. How is that good for the town centre?
“When a few shopkeepers protested against the plans last year by boarding up their shop windows I did the opposite and lit my windows up with Christmas lights to show I was all for it.”
Sarah Riley, who also helped set up the supportive Facebook page, said it was created out of curiosity to gauge opinion.
She said: “It seems that the majority of people in the town want to see it. It’ll create more jobs and help a local company in L&P Springs. The bad weather we have had has highlighted why we need the Tesco. It’s been a nightmare getting out of town to do supermarket shopping.”
Matthew Magee, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, said: “The support we’ve seen for our plans has been fantastic. When we held our public exhibition we had more than 70% of people telling us they were in favour of the plans. People are telling us that they want a place where they can do their weekly food shop in Barnoldswick, and that’s exactly what our proposed store would bring.”