LOOK FOR NEW SITE IN CASTLE DOUGLAS
Supermarket giant to expand into the Stewartry
Supermarket giant Aldi is aiming to expand into the Stewartry.
The German chain is eyeing up a site in Castle Douglas as part of an “ambitious property investment and development programme” across Scotland.
The region’s Food Town appears on a list of “required locations” where it is looking to buy a site.
Castle Douglas Community Council treasurer Martin Fortnum said: “I think another supermarket would be good for the town as it would save quite a few folk travelling to Dumfries to do their shopping.
“There was a lot of opposition to Tesco but that seems to have settled down. People come into the town, do their shopping and then come down the street to other places.
“Quite a few people come from other towns as well. There was opposition but it was quite a while ago now and I think Aldi and Lidl are quite popular now.
“Especially in the current situation, we need to support what we can locally and if someone is coming in to create employment that would be good.”
Castle Douglas Development Forum chairperson, Carolyn
Yates, hoped any development would be in keeping with the town’s natural assets and support existing businesses. She said: “Our local shops are the jewel in our crown. “One of the things Tesco did well was allow people access to King Street by putting in new crossing and the low wall so that people could come into the town centre so I would be looking for similar co-operation and engagement from the community.”
Aldi currently has 92 stores in Scotland with four in the region – two in Dumfries, one in Annan and one in Newton Stewart.
It is looking for sites in a further 19 places, with Castle Douglas mentioned on a section of their website listing towns in Scotland aimed at the property sector called “required locations”.
National property director at Aldi UK, Ciaran Aldridge, said: “Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year.
“But there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.
“We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.”
The firm is looking for sites of around 1.5 acres that can accommodate a 20,000 sq foot store and around 100 parking spaces.
The council’s local development plan, adopted last year, shows just one vacant business site in Castle Douglas, which is a 1.48 hectare area on Oakwell Road.
The Aldi website says they prefer to open in towns with a population of at least 15,000. Scottish Government statistics show Castle Douglas has a population of less than a third of that, but data from NHS Dumfries and Galloway estimates the population of the Stewartry as being around 24,000.
Support Community councillor Martin Fortnum
Dumfries store One of four Aldi outlets in the region