Store chain signs up with city developer

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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to open a new outlet in Lancaster city centre.

It has signed up for a ground floor unit at a new student housing development being built on Penny Street.

It is a major boost for developers Cityblock, whose director Trevor Bargh has been trying to interest a major retailer in the site for several years.

The new store – the chain’s third outlet in the district – will be within 200 yards of a Tesco Express store at the Travelodge development on King Street.

Sainsbury’s declined to say how much space it had taken or what type of store would be opened, but it is expected to be a convenience store under its Local brand.

Work is now well under way on the £6m scheme, which will see 100 student apartments built on the site of the former Victoria Court office building which runs between Penny Street and Thurnham Street.

Lancaster-based Askam Construction is the main contractor on the site. The company also built Cityblock’s most recently completed scheme in Leicester, which was fully let six months before it opened.

The Penny Street scheme, the company’s third in Lancaster, is due for completion in August, ready for the start of the 2012/13 academic year.

More in this week’s Lancaster Guardian