Expanded Aldi supermarket may replace Morecambe Superbowl

Morecambe Superbowl.
Morecambe Superbowl.

Morecambe Superbowl is set to shut down and may be replaced by a supermarket.

The 10 pin bowling centre will close after almost 25 years and retail giants Aldi hope to get the green light to build a bigger shopping store in its place.

How a new bigger Aldi supermarket might look on Morecambe front. Image from the planning application Design and Access statement.

How a new bigger Aldi supermarket might look on Morecambe front. Image from the planning application Design and Access statement.

The owner of the Superbowl has agreed to sell the land to Aldi because the bowling centre is “in decline”.

Outraged members of the public have written to Lancaster City Council opposing the plans saying Morecambe does not need another big supermarket.

Aldi wants to demolish its existing store on Morecambe seafront and the bowling alley building – which includes Bedland and Sofaland furniture store and Tongue ‘N’ Groove body piercing shop – and replace it with a new supermarket and car park with 117 spaces.

The new shop would be much larger (1,236 sqm) than the current Aldi store on Marine Road West (760 sqm).

“The building is generally in a poor state of repair and does not present a high-quality frontage to Marine Road,” said an Aldi spokesman.

“The significant investment proposed by Aldi will provide the opportunity to improve the visual appearance of the site which is visible from Central Drive and Marine Road.”

Morecambe Superbowl opened on the corner of Central Drive and Marine Road West in 1993.

In a letter to the council, Elleray Harris from Superbowl owners Taylor’s Cumbrian Amusements Ltd wrote: “The business has for some years now been suffering from falling visitor numbers and increased maintenance costs due to the age of the building and as such, has been in decline.

“The business is, I regret, not sustainable for the foreseeable future and will need to close as a Superbowl and leisure facility.

“Other than the offer from Aldi, we have not received any other offers of interest in the site and as such, I believe the site would remain vacant and unoccupied had we not agreed terms to sell the site to Aldi.”

David Taylor from Taylor’s told The Visitor the Superbowl won’t close for “a good few months yet”.

Mr Taylor said the sale of the land to Aldi was dependent on Lancaster City Council granting planning permission.

“We’ve had it for 10 years,” he said.

“It’s been hard going. We’ve given Morecambe our best shot. We’ve had a reasonable offer from Aldi.”

Terry Wilcock from Tongue ‘N’ Groove said: “No matter what the outcome we will be carrying on our business as we have done for the past 20 years.”

A spokesman for Bedland and Sofaland said he would prefer not to comment.

Aldi opened its first stores in the UK in 1990 and currently runs around 600 stores across the country.

They have shops on Marine Road West in Morecambe, Scotland Road in Carnforth and Morecambe Road, Lancaster.

Aldi said the new development would create between 30 and 50 jobs for local people within the foodstore plus additional employment for construction, maintenance and window cleaning.

Lancaster City Council is expected to make a final decision on planning permission later this year.

In the meantime people are welcome to write to the council to give their views on the development. More information is available at www.lancaster.gov.uk in the planning section.

As The Visitor went to press, 12 people had written to the council objecting to the plans.

One wrote: “I’m shocked to discover that there are plans even being considered to get rid of the Morecambe Superbowl, currently one of our town‘s few indoor attractions that appeals to families, teens and holidaymakers during poor weather and popular for parties.

“Even more so that it is to be replaced by a expanded Aldi! Do we really need another big supermarket?!”

Another resident wrote: “Why oh why do we need yet another supermarket?

“It’s ridiculous...we need to attract holidaymakers whether it be day trippers, weekenders or any other.

“Stop this this application before it goes any further. Morecambe is let down yet again.”

The announcement of plans for the new supermarket comes as the wait continues for work to start on building a planned £17m retail park on the former Frontierland fairground site next to Aldi. Workers were on site yesterday ready to start demolishing the Polo Tower.