Keswick is set to get its first budget chain supermarket as Aldi looks to open a store in the town.
The global German chain has identified Keswick as one of four Cumbrian towns it is targeting to expand.
No site has been revealed for the proposed new Aldi store in Keswick and plans are yet to be submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority.
But a statement from the company – the UK’s fifth biggest supermarket operator – said it was looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.
Besides Keswick, Aldi is looking to move into Windermere and Milnthorpe for the first time, as well as opening a second store in Kendal. It issued a statement to say each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, “ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access.”
Ciaran Aldridge, national property director at Aldi UK, said: “We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.” He added: “Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year but there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.”
Keswick’s only large supermarket at present is Booths. The town also has a Co-op supermarket, along with several smaller general stores including three Spars and established independents like Open All Hours.
However, it is becoming more of a lure for national chains in recent years, with Costa Coffee having arrived and Premier Inn’s controversial planning application for a hotel on High Hill due to come before Lake District planners later this year.
At present, shoppers from Keswick face a round trip of roughly 30 miles to the nearest budget stores at Cockermouth and Penrith. Aldi, which already has stores at both those towns, has set a target of having 1,200 stores open in the UK by 2025. It currently has more than 880 stores across the UK.