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Armagh I poll finds 70% not happy with Tesco withdrawal

An Armagh I poll to gauge local reaction on the decision by Tesco to abandon plans to open a superstore in the city has shown more than two thirds are against the move.

After last week’s shock announcement that the retail giant was pulling the plug on the Alexander Road development, we asked: “Are you happy to see Tesco pull out of plans to open in Armagh?”

Hundreds took the opportunity to cast their votes, which showed the overwhelming majority were not.

Some 70.7% of those who voted did not want to lose the Tesco store, which was due to create 250 new jobs.

But 26.25% of you were pleased to learn of news of the withdrawal.

The application for the superstore had been adjourned on several occasions and was finally approved last year. There had been fears among city centre traders of how it might affect their businesses.

A further 3.03% of those who voted were ‘undecided’ in relation to whether or not Tesco pulling out was a good thing.

As always, Armagh I followers were quick to share their views via Facebook on what was needed in the city and a possible future use for the new building, work on which is continuing.

The construction is being carried out by Turkingtons in Portadown and is due to be completed in the coming months.

Michael Duffy was clearly disappointed, saying: “I was looking forward to it. It was just what Armagh needs.”

Cora Scallon had similar views, stating: “Need the jobs it would have brought.”

Other popular tenants were suggested, including Primark, Asda, Debenhams, B&Q, Currys, Homebase and McDonalds.

Mabel Deering suggested: “Armagh needs cheaper clothes shops for children, like Dunnes or Primark.”

Deirdre Cartmill Maginess was in agreement, saying: “Primark or Dunnes. We need more clothes.”

And she added: “Armagh needs a good indoor play area for children.”

Brenda Grimley did not mind as long as it created employment.

She said: “As long as it brings in jobs. Don’t really mind what comes to town.”

Meanwhile, Laurence Reilly said, “How about John Lewis or Selfridges?”, while Raymy Greer felt “Asda should consider moving in”.

Gary McKinney believed that something unique was needed – and not necessarily retail.

He commented: “Open an ice rink or something no other town about here has to bring people into the town from elsewhere. Not everyone wants to shop. There’s more to life.”

Mark Max McSherry wrote: “Personally I think they could change it to similar to Spires and have a few outlets. Think enough big supermarkets, could be used for several, looks big enough! A bowling alley? Drive-in cinema around it, a kids’ indoor play park, place like a youth club for all younger ages. Be interesting. They might come back if they get the right vibes off the council. Maybe Wetherspoons could incorporate some of it and a decent nite club to keep the youth in town? Has endless possibilities but time will tell.”

Other suggestions included a sports complex, roller skate disco and children’s soft play area.

What do you think? Tell us your views…

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