MIDDLEWICH chiefs are hoping to entice other major retailers to the town centre after Tesco scrapped its superstore scheme.

Tesco also has plans to revamp its existing supermarket while opportunities are sought for the abandoned development land between Southway and Darlington Street.

Town Mayor Simon McGrory and Clr Paul Edwards recently met with Doug Wilson, Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, which has shed some light on the situation.

Clr McGrory said: “It was clear that Tesco had suffered economic change and their customers’ shopping habits have changed, such as reliance on online shopping, since planning permission was originally granted.

“This led Tesco into taking the decision not to complete the development of the site it had acquired next door to its existing store.

“Tesco will now be concentrating on its existing store with a plan to revamp the store both internally and externally.”

Clr McGrory was quizzed by Patricia Cooley, of St Ann’s Road, during Middlewich Town Council’s meeting.

She said: “The taxpayers of Middlewich have serious concerns regarding health and safety issues, crime and the loss of and threat to the visual and economic amenities of this rapidly deteriorating site.”

Clr McGrory, of King Street, said that Tesco had agreed to demolish a number of buildings on the site and provide extra security to prevent access to the remaining properties.

He added: “Cheshire East economic development team will assist in ensuring every opportunity is explored and the best available option for Middlewich is achieved.

“This will include pursuing and encouraging any other retailer or food store to Middlewich.

“Having explained how important any development in the town centre is, we will be requesting Tesco to consider some additional expenditure on land around the store and Wheelock Street.

“Hopefully negotiations will be concluded shortly.”

Doug Wilson, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: “The recent meeting was extremely useful and important and we are keen to work with the Council on agreeing a way forward for the town and the existing store.”