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50 new jobs planned at West One as Iceland to launch Food Warehouse

Frozen food retailer Iceland is planning a new food and drink store at the West One Retail Park, SalfordOnline.com can reveal.

Food Warehouse will take over Unit 10 at the Eccles shopping complex, if bosses get their way over a planning application going before the council this week.

Iceland opened its first Food Warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent in September 2014, offering product lines of a posher variety, including champagne for a tenner, a two-pack of lobster tails for £10, or boil-in-the-bag pulled pork for £4.

The retailer says it wants to open 25 branches of the new venture by the end of 2016.

In April, they signed a 10-year lease on a new outlet at the Peel Retail Park in Urmston.

If it gets planning permission the 8,000sq ft store would provide up to 50 jobs, Iceland have told Salford City Council.

It’s the latest move for space at West One, which has seen a remarkable comeback in the past 18 months.

Until September 2014 here were numerous vacant units and the retail park was on the brink of becoming all but derelict.

The only remaining occupiers at the time were a Next Clearance store and WH Smiths, and a McDonalds, Subway and Carphone Warehouse in standalone buildings.

Then The Range moved in, bringing serious footfall back to Eccles, followed by Home Bargains, Smyths toy store and even outline plans for a Pure Gym, revealed on SalfordOnline.com in March.

Planners will have to decide this Thursday at Swinton Civic Centre whether an additional amount of food shopping at West One has an “unacceptable” impact on Eccles town centre.

Iceland said it considered all the vacant retail units in both Eccles and Swinton town centres, and none was big enough, nor had enough parking nearby to complement The Food Warehouse’s business model.

The Planning and Transportation Regulatory Panel will discuss on the proposals on Thursday 12 May.

Update: Salford Council’s planning panel have greenlit changes to planning conditions, giving Iceland/The Food Warehouse the go-ahead to move in.

In a statement City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “This is welcome news for Eccles. Not only will the store create new jobs for local residents, it will bring new visitors to the town centre.”

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.