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MP impressed after tour of Stourbridge's new 24 hour Tesco superstore
5:00pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
AFTER a behind the scenes tour of the town’s new 24 hour Tesco superstore, Stourbridge MP Margot James declared that she was “very impressed”.
Ms James put on a hard hat and steel-toed boots for a sneak peek of the site on Friday (September 20).
Although work is still taking place to get the store ready for the grand opening on October 31, Ms James was among a number of guests invited behind the scenes to see what progress had been made.
She was joined by store manager, Sadie Griffiths, who admitted she was excited to get her first glimpse of the where she will be leading a 26-strong management team.
Ms Griffiths, from Halesowen, has worked for Tesco for 18 years and began her career working on the checkouts.
The mother-of-four said that the majority of the management team were from the Black Country but four would travel from Telford and Shrewsbury.
She said she couldn’t wait to get stuck in and added: “The store is everything I expected and more, until now I had only seen it as a plan on paper.”
Ms James was also impressed and said she was “delighted” that the two-storey car park would have 560 spaces, offering three hours free parking: “The free parking will bring people into the town centre as well as into Tesco.”
The walkway, from Crown Square, which leads to Stourbridge Library, reopened to the public today (Monday September 23) as the Market Street entrance to the town hall and library will be closed to construct a new ramp.
Members of the public using the walkway will see artwork hanging from the ceiling, which also caught Ms James’ attention during the tour.
The sculptures, which look like a flock of flying books, were designed by renowned Wollaston artist Luke Perry, with help from local schoolchildren.
Ms James was also pleased that the town clock, which was previously sited in the open square of the Crown Centre, had been refurbished and reinstalled in the walkway.
She added: "I really like the way the local history has been preserved and in some cases restored, like the clock and the involvement of local children with the artwork in the entrance way.”
Ms James said her constituents had a more positive outlook on the development now it was nearing completion: “There has been growing enthusiasm, people were quite concerned to start with about the affect it would have on other retailers but I think it has got more and more positive over the last 18 months.
“Tesco identified a gap in the market and wanted an outlet in Stourbridge and it was either here in the town centre or over by the bus station and that would have been far more damaging to the town centre.”
The scheme also includes 14 new retail units, some of which are occupied with existing tenants including a barbers and a cafe.
Tesco’s corporate affairs manager, Simon Petar, added that there had been “lots of interest and discussions with interested parties” to fill the remaining units.
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