COUNCIL chiefs in Wakefield say they are ‘bitterly disappointed’ after Tesco chiefs scrapped plans for a new £40m store in Pontefract.
The supermarket giant has opted not to progress with plans to transform its current Stuart Road store site in a development which was expected to create around 200 new jobs.
Tesco has notified Wakefield Council it has axed plans for the store following the company’s decision to limit new developments in the UK.
A spokesman from Tesco confirmed it has no current plans to replace the Stuart Road store.
Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration and economic growth, said: “It’s very disappointing about Tesco but it’s a national problem.
“They are pulling out of developments all over the country, as are other supermarkets.
“We were hoping jobs and growth were going to come from it as it was a massive development.”
Coun Jeffery added “We tried to persuade them, we have done everything we can, but it’s a national policy.
“Expectations were raised about new jobs, and it’s bitterly disappointing because Pontefract needs this.”
Pontefract councillor Geoff Walsh said: “It’s sad that the new Tesco isn’t going to come to fruition but we need to find some way of regenerating the town centre.
“It’s an awful shame we won’t see the benefits in terms of jobs because Tesco was going to be a significant employer.
“But it marks a need for us to redouble our efforts to get the town on track again.”
Andrew Wallhead, Wakefield Council’s corporate director for regeneration and economic growth, said the council is reviewing regeneration plans for the Tanshelf area of Pontefract.