Excitement builds over Asda store

EXCITMENT is growing in the town as the opening day of the new Asda store draws ever closer.

The building of the new site at the St James site is progressing rapidly and local people are sharing their enthusiasm.

Last week the Forfar Dispatch facebook page was a hotbed of activity as people shared their views about how the new store would affect the town and the majority felt that it would be positive.

Some felt that the new store would bring some much needed competition for Tesco.

Marion Graham said: “Hopefully it will kill some of Tesco’s stronghold on the town.”

While Mary Heede added: “Can’t beat Asda - prices are good, butcher’s counter is much better than Tesco - I just like everything about it.”

Other visitors to the site were glad to note that Asda will be bringing more than 200 jobs to the local area.

Ian Bishop said: “The creation of multiple jobs for all ages and abilities of the workforce is fantastic. What is important is that these jobs should go to the local community.”

Jillian Ewen agreed with Ian that most of the jobs should stay with local people, she said: “I just hope that most of the jobs go to Forfar folk and not out of towners.”

Louise Fairweather feels that Asda will be a very positive aspect to the town. She said: “I think it will have a great impact on the town and will give plenty of job opportunities.

“I can’t wait till it opens and it will start bringing Forfar up to date and attract other businesses to the town.”

Although most were sure that Asda will be a good thing for the town, Ruth Mason had a word of warning. She said: “I can only say what has happened in my local area. Tesco and Asda moved in and all the local shops shut. The High Street, which used to be the heart of the community with variety and choice, disappeared.

“It took about two years for this to happen and we now have a very sad looking town with even the charity shops closing.”

She added: “Forfar has a lot to offer - good camp sites, nice pubs and restaurants - so maybe with a bit of imagination, inspiration and entrepreneurial skills Forfar could be revived and turned back to the market town that it was known for and bring people in to visit again.”

While the people of Forfar are optimistic for the future, the Dispatch has previously reported that local business owners do not share the same enthusiasm.

When planning permission was granted earlier this year, local councillors Colin Brown, a member of the development standards committee, and Glennis Middleton spoke against the supermarket proposals at a council meeting.

Their views were backed up by Castle Street businessmen Charles Jarvis and Richard Doig.

In a letter of objection sent to the council Mr Doig said: “Another large supermarket in the town could and probably would cause more shops to close; the last thing needed in the present financial climate is a town centre full of premises lying empty.”

In another letter Mr Jarvis added: “The addition of another supermarket in the town will prejudice the survival of the town centre which, like many town centres, is fragile.”