Store backs town centre

PUBLISHED: 01:01 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:46 10 June 2010

ASDA developers have pledged their commitment to using their customer pulling power to aid Exmouth's town centre. Despite refusing to rule out the sale of clothes, the supermarket giants say their store can be the spark for a town regeneration boom. Alrea

ASDA developers have pledged their commitment to using their customer pulling power to aid Exmouth's town centre.Despite refusing to rule out the sale of clothes, the supermarket giants say their store can be the spark for a town regeneration boom. Already residents are excited over the prospect of a purpose-built new library and transport hub.Developers ASM Properties, working on behalf of ASDA, will consult town traders and residents before embarking on a multi-million pound rebuild of the estuary-side bus depot site.ASDA property communications manager Allison Darling said: "ASDA sees itself very much as part of the local community and will be consulting widely in Exmouth to seek local views as we draw up our proposals."Our aim is to develop a scheme which not only supports regeneration of Exmouth, but recognises the unique location of the proposed supermarket and enhances the wider area."Future employment will be a major strand of the store's contribution to the town - with an expected provision of around 400 new jobs. The ASDA package - East Devon District Council's preferred development brief of four options - will also pay for infrastructure improvements.A 12,500 square-foot library, 27-flat residential development, a relocated sports centre and a potential estuary-side 'interpretation' centre are now in the pipeline.Superstore management has promised a hard-working, sensitive approach to a presence at the officially-designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.The ASDA group has paraded research boasting two-thirds of customers combine shopping with a town centre trip; and say staff spend a total of 100,000 hours per year working with the local community. The store is expected to stock local produce, and will be designed to fit in with its environment - planning applications are expected in the autumn.ASM Properties are working on a number of mixed-use developments with ASDA, including the company's newest store at Andover.Managing director Keith Beynon said: "A new ASDA will create an exciting gateway for Exmouth."Also of major importance are the environmental aspects of the Exmouth scheme. At Andover we have widened a river and created a new wetland habitat. At Exmouth we will use specialist environmental consultants to advise and monitor activity."We will now develop our proposals over the coming months and will ensure we liaise with traders, residents and other stakeholders to seek their views and keep them updated as the scheme progresses.

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