Tesco Ireland is to finally proceed with plans to expand and upgrade its Ballina store, according to Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary, who was relayed the news in correspondence from the company's chief operating officer this week.
Deputy Calleary said: "I have been actively pursuing Tesco Ireland for a number of months now to ensure that the proposed development of the Ballina store moves towards commencement.
"On Thursday morning last, an email from Geoff Byrne, chief operating officer, confirmed to me that Tesco is entering into discussions with Mayo County Council with a view to seeking planning permission to carry out an external store upgrade.
"Mr Byrne also confirmed that it is Tesco’s intention to significantly enhance the interior of the store with a view to ensuring that Tesco Ballina provides a welcoming, modern environment for staff and customers alike.
"I am continuing to engage with Tesco Ireland in relation to this issue – I will be emphasising the urgent need to proceed without delay, subject to planning being granted, so that the experience instore is enhanced and so that the external appearance of the store is greatly improved,” said Deputy Calleary.
"I would hope that works would proceed as soon as planning is granted and I will be working with my colleagues Cllr Annie May Reape and Cllr Michael Loftus, in respect of that application," concluded Deputy Calleary.
Independent Cllr Mark Duffy who organised a petition calling on Tesco to complete an upgrade on their store in the town also welcomed the news saying: "Pending planning permission, work is expected to commence in early spring which I hope can further regenerate the town centre as the innovation hub development will hopefully have commenced simultaneously. This development is down to the over 700 people from north Mayo and west Sligo who signed the petition and demanded a better environment for staff and customers. It proves when we, as a community work together, campaign together and let our voice be heard that people will sit up, take note and deliver for our area."