The redevelopment of a former JCB factory in the centre of Uttoxeter today took a giant leap forward with news that Waitrose is planning a new store on part of the site creating up to 180 new jobs.
JCB has agreed in principle to sell approximately two acres of the 22 acre site to enable the retailer to open what would be its third store in Staffordshire, subject to being granted final detailed planning consent. It is planned that the new 30,000 ft² supermarket – which will have car parking for 180 vehicles – could open in time for Christmas 2015.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The proposed Waitrose store is a major step forward in the redevelopment of the former JCB Heavy Products site. It will act as a catalyst for the implementation of the wider development which will include a park and high quality housing.
“It is and always has been my intention that this development leaves a legacy to Uttoxeter given my family’s long association with the town and this site in particular. While recent economic circumstances mean it has taken longer to advance than I would have liked, I’m delighted that the scheme is now moving forward in a way that will eventually contribute to the wider renaissance of Uttoxeter.”
The new store would be built on stilts with car parking underneath. There would also be surface level car parking at the rear along with a service area.
Waitrose Director of Development Nigel Keen said: “It’s a great opportunity for two of the UK’s most established businesses to work alongside each other and revitalise such an important site with so much history in the town. We look forward to developing our plans which would bring new investment, including the creation of a significant number of jobs and deliver a first class food store providing our full offer.”
Production at the old Heavy Products site finished in 2008 and the factory relocated to a new £40 million site next to the A50 in Uttoxeter. The old factory was demolished in 2009 (as featured in this video).
Lord Bamford is taking a personal involvement in the plans and instigated a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) design contest to ensure the redevelopment is of “the highest possible standard.”