MLA for East Londonderry Maurice Bradley and Independent Councillor William McCandless have both welcomed the announcement by Marks & Spencer that they are proposing to expand in Coleraine with a brand-new store at Riverside Retail Park.
The plans involve a new 17,100 sq ft foodhall with more than 5,000 food and drink products.
The proposed expansion will be a significant investment in Coleraine of £2.5 million and it is expected to create 40 jobs during the construction phase and support a further 70 full-time and part-time jobs when the store is opened and operational..
MLA Bradley said: “Any announcement about job creation in the area has to be welcomed. This is a good news story for Coleraine.
“M&S has been part of our town for many years and it is great to see them expanding.
“When our economy opens up again it is vital that we try and keep our shoppers in the Coleraine area, this new store will be an additional offering for the Causeway Coast and Glens area.”
Councillor William McCandless added: “The announcement from M&S to expand in Coleraine at Riverside Retail Park is very welcome news.
“Riverside Retail Park contributes in excess of £2M to our rates and employs approx 600 people. This welcome addition of a brand new M&S store will augment that and enhance this already popular shopping destination.
“New jobs are always desirable and the extensive range which will be added to the food hall will serve Coleraine and the surrounding north coast and will assist in attracting shoppers from other areas and retain locals.
“This is encouraging news as we emerge from lockdown.”
Philip Conlon, Head of Region for M&S in Northern Ireland said, “We are always thinking about how we can deliver great service for our customers.
“We believe that Riverside Retail Park is the ideal location to open a new M&S Foodhall to serve not only the Coleraine area, but the entire north coast.
“The new foodhall will provide customers with a bigger and better shopping experience, as well as convenient and accessible car parking.”
A spokesperson for Riverside Retail Park said, “Given the economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19 and by Brexit we believe this investment represents a real vote of confidence in Coleraine.”