Aldi get ready to do battle with Morrisons, B&M and Lidl around Preston Docks

Preston's next Aldi store could take a big step forward next week when planners meet to clear the way for construction.

By Brian Ellis
Saturday, 23rd April 2022, 12:30 pm

The project, which involves the demolition of the Trident Centre on the city's Docklands estate, is expected to get the nod when it goes before councillors for approval on Thursday.

Developers are set to build two large stores on the site of what was the headquarters and call centre of holiday company NetFlights.com, part of the Gold Medal Travel Group.

Aldi will take one of them, the German retailer's fifth supermarket in Preston - it is already planning No 6 in a new local centre in Cottam.

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The old Trident Centre has been empty for almost three years.

The guessing game has already begun about who will take the other, with a planning statement showing it will be a "variety discounter."

The Trident Centre, behind KFC and DW Fitness, has been empty for almost three years since the company moved out to new premises in Leyland in May 2019. Efforts to market the building have proved fruitless, with only “limited” interest shown in renting it.

Architects on behalf of Commercial Development Projects Ltd of Huddersfield say the aim is to replace it with two new high quality retail units “creating a sense of place and a development with character.”

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How the new Aldi supermarket and its neighbouring store will look (Image: The Harris Partnership).

It will also be only 500 yards from its arch-rival Lidl which has a store outside the Docklands on Strand Road.

A report to go before the city's planning committee reveals the two new stores on the Trident Centre site are expected to create up to 100 full-time equivalent jobs between them.

They will be adjoining in the same building, with the Aldi foodstore having a net sales area of 1,315 square metres "of which 80 per cent would be for convenience goods and 20 per cent comparison goods."

The other store unit will have a sales area of 1,985 square metres "of which 70 per cent would be comparison goods and 30 per cent convenience goods."

The docklands store would be Aldi's fifth in Preston - with a sixth on the way in Cottam.

One letter of support for the project has been received by the council. It says: "The proposal will rejuvenate an area of the docks that is currently untidy and empty.

"It will result in more investment and facilities in the area and an Aldi Foodstore would be beneficial to the local ."