One of the country’s leading clothes retailers is heading to Horncastle as part of major improvements to a town supermarket.
The News can reveal the Co-op store in Conging Street is set to be ‘transformed’ by a £680,000 investment programme.
Clothing giants Peacocks will open a concession within the new-look store.
Plans for the development - which could include new jobs - have been submitted to East Lindsey District Council.
The changes appear to end speculation about the future of the Co-op in Horncastle.
Several rival retailers - including Sainsburys - had been linked with the site.
In a statement, the Co-op says the investment will “transform the store and create a new shopping experience for the community.”
Although the Co-op’s share of the actual floor space will be reduced to accommodate Peacocks, the company stresses it will continue to provide a wide range of products.
Adrian Jones, an Operations Manager for Co-operative Food, told the News: “We are thrilled at the prospect of making such a significant investment in Horncastle.
“It will enable us to create a fantastic new format food store while providing a new offering for the town with the arrival of Peacocks.”
No details have been revealed about any impact the changes might have on existing Co-op staff.
Peacocks were reluctant to comment on their plans but said it was likely new jobs would be created.
A spokesman said any final agreement with the Co-op was dependent on a number of factors, notably planning permission.
The Co-op says the new-look store will focus more on meal ideas, heathy fresh foods and essentials.
The refurbishment will include an ATM, new refrigeration, fittings, check-outs, an in-store bakery and extended ranges of fresh and chilled produce.
Peacocks would ‘move into’ the Conging Street end of the store. Their retail outlet would cover 3,013 square feet with a ‘back up’ area of 737 square feet.
Horncastle Town Council and the County Council’s Highways department say they have no objections to the proposals.
District councillor and Town Mayor Sandra Campbell-Wardman said: “I encourage any new business in the town, as long as it is not at the expense of the individual ones we all ready have.”
Residents have raised concerns over noise and traffic.
The town’s History and Heritage Society has raised some concerns over noise and congestion but adds it is pleased to see investment being made to rejuvenate the supermarket.
One local resident has so far written to ELDC opposing the plans claiming it will lead to an increase in noise, disruption and traffic.