BY BRIAN MOORE
BANTRY’S two new multi-million euro supermarkets look set to open on the same day – Thursday November 30th.
Lidl’s new store is just outside the town, on the road to Glengarriff, and will be the German company’s 21st supermarket in Co Cork, employing between 20 and 25 people.
However, its location was not without a degree of controversy when the plans were first proposed.
A heated debate took place after one local businessman objected to the location, although a large number of local people wanted it on the Glengarriff road.
A spokesperson for Lidl Ireland told The Southern Star that completion of the store is on schedule and they are looking forward to welcoming the first customers on November 30th.
Meanwhile, the new €8m SuperValu supermarket is also nearing completion at a stunning location overlooking Bantry Bay and the newly opened marina. The store, covering 1,672 sq m, is 700 sq m bigger than the existing SuperValu at New St, and will incorporate a much-needed carpark. It will employ over 100 people and the move to the new site will, it is hoped, make the centre of town more vibrant and less congested.
‘These two fantastic supermarket developments are just what Bantry needs,’ Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG) said. ‘They will provide a choice for shoppers and will, we hope, bring those who have been heading to Skibbereen, Dunmanway and Kenmare, back to the town once more. Bantry is set for a bright future and we are getting more funding at last as the town has, for many years, been all but forgotten. It’s Bantry’s time.’
Amy O’Sullivan, who campaigned to bring Lidl to Bantry, is looking forward to the new additions bringing much-needed choice.
‘Every time I pass the Lidl site I get excited about being able to do a full budget grocery shop on my doorstep,’ Amy said. ‘It will save me so much time and money. Personally I have misgivings about the size and height of the SuperValu building, but the prospect of finally having true choice for shoppers is encouraging for the community.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) is also looking forward to the opening of the new supermarkets.
‘It is great to see the positive investment in the town and the opening of the new SuperValu and Lidl shows great confidence in the future of Bantry. This creates a good choice for the people of the area and also great employment opportunities.
‘Bantry had being crying out for choice and now we will have it,’ he said. ‘I do hope there are plans for the old SuperValu as we also must keep our centre of town vibrant and attractive for everyone. It was great to see all the construction work going on in town in the last year or so, with the new marina and the supermarkets. This gave a muchneeded boost to construction employment, which benefited everyone.’