Play area plans for ex-Kwik Save store
PLANS to turn a former supermarket into a children's play area have been given the go-ahead.
The proposals will see the development at the former Kwik Save unit on Liverpool Road, Newcastle, and will include the provision of a snack bar and seating area.
A total of 12 full and part-time jobs will be created.
The site has remained disused since it was earmarked as one of nine branches to close across North Staffordshire and South Cheshire following the collapse of the chain in July 2007.
Since then Heron Foods has opened at the former branch on Leek Road, in Abbey Hulton, Tesco has planned a store at the unit by Limekiln traffic lights, outside Hanley, Blurton-based Douglas Macmillan has opened a store in the former Kwik Save building at Broadway, Meir and the store at the West Heath Shopping Centre, in Sandbach Road, Congleton was demolished as part of a refurbishment.
Cross Heath ward councillor John Williams hopes the development will help improve trade in the town centre.
He said: "It is a good news story for that end of the town because the present shops have really been suffering because of the closure of Sainsbury's.
"So with this, and the former Poundstretcher building being brought back into use, it shows that businesses are finally starting to open up in the town.
"People will also be able to use public transport and can walk to the building so I definitely welcome this."
Holditch ward councillor Michael Clarke, of Basford, added: "There are one or two shops which are really feeling the pinch following the recent decline in footfall.
"I feel this is a great idea to help kickstart things again."
Florist Sandy Moore-Frost, who owns A Feast of Flowers, in Liverpool Road, has also welcomed the plans.
She said: "Any sort of development at this end of the town is a good thing and I just hope it brings people back into Newcastle.
"Play centres are very well used at the moment, so I just hope that this one is as well.
"Hopefully people will visit the shops on the way to and from the centre."
Angela Drakakis-Smith, of Thistleberry Residents' Association said: "As it stands at the moment, the building is not very nice but we welcome the fact that it will be used as a play barn.
"These kind of facilities are quite popular with children and parents around the country and it would be nice to welcome something like this to Newcastle."
The application, by KMC Consultancy, claims that the establishment will add 'great value' to the town during this period of economic downturn.