New Sainsbury's store planned for centre of Cheltenham
SHOPPERS could soon get a new place to pick up their groceries in Cheltenham.
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's, which already has stores in Tewkesbury Road, Whaddon and Bath Road, has applied to open in the town's High Street.
It plans to turn the former Bella Italia restaurant into a Sainsbury's Local.
And the move has pleased town centre bosses, who said it could help bring more people to that part of the shopping area.
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It joins a host of grocery stores across the town centre, including Tesco Metro, Iceland and Marks & Spencer.
Another unnamed supermarket is also planned for the development in North Place.
The new Sainsbury's will bring with it around 25 jobs, the chain's bosses estimate.
It will take over the two units formally home to the Italian restaurant and outdoor shop Mountain Shack, which have stood empty for the last year.
Michelle Dix, Sainsbury's property communications manager, said: "We believe a new convenience shop will be of great benefit to the area, by regenerating two vacant units and bringing them back into active use, creating up to 25 new jobs and improving shopping choice for residents.
"The proposed shop, the smallest of the Sainsbury's estate, will include a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, ready meals, snacks, drinks and other convenience and household goods.
"The shop should also bring a complementary offer to the existing mix of shops and businesses in the area and strengthen the high street by giving residents another reason to keep shopping locally."
An application was put into Cheltenham Borough Council last week.
If given the go-ahead, the shop could be open early in the new year.
Town centre manager Martin Quantock said there would be many people in the area pleased to see the former restaurant become a supermarket.
He added: "It is also going to fill a high-profile unit which has stood empty for about a year.
"There are quite a few offices around there, so I imagine there will be a lot of workers going in their lunch hours for sandwiches.
"Some people might see an issue with bringing in a supermarket for the independent traders.
"But the thing about a store like Sainsbury's is that it will bring more people to that part of town, which will have a knock-on effect for everyone else which has to be a good thing."