Melksham Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Lisa and Graham are on the executive committee, and Chamber of Commerce meetings are held at Well House Manor

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Asda opening large new store in Melksham

Breaking News in Melksham is that Asda, the supermarket chain, is looking to build a large supermarket with 28000 square feet, 250 parking spaces and create 300 jobs on the outskirts of the town at "West Country Farmers" near the railway. Currently, we have a smaller Sainsbury's and a Somerfield in the town itself; the nearest big out of town supermarkets being at Chippenham and Trowbridge.

A Committee of the Melksham Chamber of Commerce met here at Well House Manor yesterday evening, and the subject came up. The chairman wondered at my sources as he thought he was breaking the news ;-). However, we [Lisa and I] did then learn how the Chamber supported Leekes when they brought their out of town store to Melksham, and how the local retailers objected strongly and set up their own organisation to take the opposite view. So the new supermarket may cause a few ripples, and any viewpoint I take could make me less than popular in some quarters.

I'm very much in favour (personal view; I do not speak for the chamber). We need a good, easily accessible, large supermarket and I don't see it pulling too much business out of the town. With the exception of Sainsburys (and Somerfield, who have had an offer made to them for their place anyway, I am told) there are no direct competitors in town and the banks, hairdressers, antique shops, takeaways, restaurants, pubs, chemists, optitians, and other specialist shops really have little to fear.

With planned population growth from 24000 to 32000 in the next 20 years, such a store is well justified. There IS a need for expanded local shopping rather than the 7 mile trek by car to Trowbridge or Chippenham. The location very close to the railway station also encourages me, as it allows a true transport hub to be in that area of town, with the town bus and perhaps other services calling as Leekes, Spencer Gate shops, Melksham Station, and Asda each 30 minutes.

(written 2007-06-08, updated 2007-06-12)

 
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