Bute residents have been encouraged to add their names to an online petition calling on Inverclyde Council to make it easier to bring an Asda supermarket to Greenock.
So far 1,158 people have signed the ‘Bring Asda to Inverclyde’ petition, which states that Asda would offer increased competition in the area and reduce prices on food, clothes and petrol.
Among the most recent signatories is Margaret Tweedlie from Rothesay, who contacted The Buteman via Facebook to say an Asda store in Greenock would be “really good” for Bute shoppers, and that “one of the places they are looking at is IBM”.
Writing on the petition’s page at www.change.org, Margaret says: “If an ASDA was built at the IBM this would make a huge difference to people on the island, just a short train journey away!”
Some members of the public have suggested the former IBM site in the Spango Valley - now officially known as ‘Valley Park’, and a shadow of its previous self after parts of the site were sold off by IBM to other firms and then closed - would be an ideal location for a supermarket, possibly as part of a wider retail development, though there has been no official reaction to the suggestion.
Asda unveiled plans in August 2012 for a Greenock superstore which the company said would have created around five hundred jobs in the area.
But the proposals, for a site near the Clydeport container terminal, were scrapped in February 2013 amid concerns over their commercial viability.
Inverclyde Council’s local development plan does not identify any sites suitable for a new supermarket in a town already served by Tesco, Morrison and Lidl and other smaller operators, and in which a new Aldi store is nearing completion - though Asda has asked for the plan to be changed by “identifying an appropriate location for major convenience retail development.”
* Do you think an Asda in Inverclyde would benefit Bute shoppers - or would it pose too much of a threat to businesses on the island? Log in or sign up below to share your thoughts here - or post your opinions on The Buteman’s Facebook page.