Planned £5m M&S food hall granted licence ahead of opening next year

Work on the new site is expected to start in the latter part of this year and opening is expected in mid-2025.

Planned £5m M&S food hall in Largs granted licence ahead of opening next year M&S

A planned new £5m M&S Simply Food store has been granted a licence after it was heard that the store is on track for opening in Largs next year.

Niall Hassard, representing Marks & Spencer, said at Monday’s licensing board meeting at North Ayrshire Council: “The application is for a provisional premises licence on a brownfield site at Pearson’s garage in Largs on the Main Street.

“Subject to the board’s decision the plan is to deliver a new format M&S Food Hall with planning permission having already been secured.

“The application we have lodged has not attracted any objections or any adverse comments whatsoever and there is nothing from police and NHS etc.

“The licence is in my opinion consummate with what is a fairly well-known M&S Food offer.

“So in brief it’s off-sales only with standard hours of 10am to 10pm – a modest alcohol display of 34.6m sqm which is only five per cent of the shop.

“The application has no fancy bells and whistles; it is pretty much what you would expect.”

He said, although the company had closed under-performing sites around the country, they were looking to set up new ones which they expected would be popular, including Largs.

There was also high quality fresh produce on offer and the alcohol sold would be at the quality end of the market.

It would boost economic growth and bring open spaces into use, in line with the Board’s licensing policy, he added.

Selling alcohol as well as food meant that people could secure their shopping in one place rather than going elsewhere.

Fifty jobs, part-time and full-time – which is 35 full-time equivalent – were being created, the majority of which would be recruited locally.

Staff were also trained on Challenge 25 which encourages anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to carry acceptable ID.

Work on the new site is expected to start in the latter part of this year and opening is expected in mid-2025.

A motion to grant the application from Councillor John Bell was seconded by Councillor Jean McClung and was passed unanimously by the board.

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