Convenience store opens in Brandon Sainsbury’s building

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Plans to turn a former branch of Sainsbury’s into a village convenience store have been revealed.

A one-stop shop is due to open in Grove Road, Brandon, near Durham, after a long-term agreement was reached with the site owners, housing believe.

The plan is to do a £150,000 upgrade to the unit over the summer, before opening the store later in the year.

Kate Abson, Development Director at Belie Housing, said: ‘We are delighted to bring a convenience store back to Brandon as we know people were disappointed when Sainsbury’s Local moved under a break option in their lease.

“This new 15-year lease will ensure the community has access to a good selection of products, at competitive prices, for the long term.

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The housing association has agreed a 15 year lease of the unit to Wilson Retail Limited.

Company Director Daniel Wilson said: “The Brandon store immediately appealed to us as we already have a presence in the North East.

“The village is a good size for a convenience store and it is perfectly located, with excellent parking facilities.

“We worked with Bel Housing and came up with a vision of how we could reopen and modernize the location, as I know they wanted to find the best possible retailer for the area.

“We believe we can provide a great convenience store that Brandon wants and needs.”

The news has been welcomed by Durham County Councilors for Brandon, Jonathan Elmer and Paul Taylor, who say residents have missed having a store on their doorstep since the Sainsbury local closed in May 2021.

Councilor Jonathan Elmer said: “The hardship caused by the loss of the local Sainsbury’s last spring was brought to my attention by residents, time and time again, on their doorsteps.

“After speaking with Belie Housing about a year ago, I was reassured to learn that they were actively looking for a new tenant.

“I’m glad to hear they found one.”

Cllr Paul Taylor said: “To say I am delighted that we have a new convenience store on Grove Road would be an understatement.

“Local residents were so upset by the loss of the store, a store in this location was a lifeline for the many older residents who live in this part of our community.

“I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Bel Housing, with whom I have had regular communication over the months, for bringing a leading and highly respected retailer to Brandon.

“I welcome One Stop from me and our community.”

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