The east end of Falkirk’s main shopping district could be given a much-needed boost thanks to plans to re-open a vacant supermarket.
The former Tesco store in Meadow Street has lain empty since July 2010.
A planning application has now been submitted which would see the large building altered to accommodate a new tenant, believed to be a major household goods retailer.
The remainder of the building, which is still owned by Tesco, could then be potentially leased out at a later date.
Slight exterior alterations would be made to the former supermarket, including demolishing a small toilet block and creating new entrances.
Inside, a partition would be erected which would allow the possible lease of the building to two separate businesses.
If the plans come to fruition it would be a welcome boost to the east end of the town.
Last year The Falkirk Herald reported on local traders’ concerns after Crockets, the long-established ironmongers, became the latest business to vacate the area.
It was claimed that the shabby appearance of the town’s central bus station, added to the already vacated Tesco store, had led to a significant decrease in the numbers of people visiting the east end.
Speaking in August, departing Crockets manager Eileen Brodie lamented: “The rot set in when Tesco shut down – after that we just weren’t getting the same footfall.
“I think the east end of Falkirk has been ignored for the last two or three years – if there is anything going on in the town like farmers’ markets, it happens up at The Steeple or the Howgate.”
East end traders have since banded together to create a united marketing strategy for the area, entitled ‘Eastend Village’.
It has booked entertainment to perform at the bandstand, which has been under-used in recent years, as well as offering training for local businesses to take better advantage of social media.
Speaking this week, Linton Smith, owner of G.W. Smith Cycles in the High Street, said that “the fightback has already begun.”
He added: “I’ll be watching with interest what happens with the old Tesco store. Hopefully whoever takes it over has a high footfall. I’m very pleased that it looks like it may be occupied again.”
Alastair Mitchell, manager of Falkirk Delivers, which works in conjunction with Falkirk Council to promote the town centre, said: “I will be delighted when the site is occupied again. When Tesco went it left a huge void in the east end which had a negative impact on the remaining businesses.
“I look forward to welcoming any new business which could bring some additional vibrancy to the east end of the town.”