Earlier we posted on how St Modwen have reached a deal with Sainsbury’s to take the Longbridge development superstore plot. Here we get reaction from local politicians and local people.
Longbridge councillors were unified in welcoming the new jobs that the store will bring to the area.
Labour’s Longbridge Councillors Andy Cartwright and Ian Cruise are pleased that the deal for the foodstore at the Longbridge Town Centre has finally been completed.
Councillor Cruise said, ‘This is the latest piece of the Longbridge Town Centre jigsaw to be put in place. The Bournville College opens later this year, the MyPlace Youth Centre is due for completion in 2012 and the foodstore opens in 2013. The local economy needs a boost and this announcement will help bring sustainability into the area.
Councillor Cartwright said, ‘The deal will bring much needed employment to an area still suffering from the aftermath of the closure of MG Rover. I hope that Sainsbury’s look to employ local people first’.
Conservative Councillor Ken Wood also welcomes the prospect of new jobs at Longbridge. He said, “This is fantastic news and along with the new Bournville College it means that the new town centre is at last starting to take real shape. With the increased activity on site I hope that it will prove an attraction to other companies to move into the area which in turn will help generate the jobs we badly need in the area.”
Northfield MP Richard Burden was keen to note that what the store can bring to the area is most important and hints at making sure he and others work with Sainsbury’s to ensure the store’s impact is as positive as possible for the community.
He told us, “People living close to the Longbridge site have known for ages that a major foodstore was going to be a key part of the redevelopment plans for the area. The surprise is that St Modwen has done the deal with Sainsbury who already have major stores up the road in Northfield and Selly Oak.
“To me, though, the key thing is not the brand on the front of the Longbridge store. Much more important is what the store owner is willing to bring to the area and its people. That obviously includes the quality of jobs that will be created and the sustainability of other local centres such as Northfield.”
Mr Burden added, “It is also about the extent to which they are prepared to become a good corporate citizen of the area with a real stake in its future. That includes the range and affordability of goods sold, how far they can promote good heath in the area and how far they are prepared to help empower local people to shape the future of their community.”
“These are some of the things which I and, I am sure, other local representatives will be wanting to explore with Sainsbury in the coming weeks.”
Below are a few tweets and some comments from the thread on the issue on the Northfield Past facebook group. (Scroll to the end to vote in our poll)
Storify of tweets received about the deal:
Screenshot of some of the facebook comments: