Supermarket giant Tesco has revealed that it will not be building two proposed new stores in the Highlands.
A downturn in the company’s business means it is pulling out of building 49 new stores across the UK, including those planned for Fort William and Aviemore.
Tesco chief executive, Dave Lewis, today said: “It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing that we are unable to proceed with our planned new store developments in Aviemore and Fort William.
“Our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and my absolute imperative has to be to protect the future of our business for the 300,000 colleagues we employ in communities all over the UK.
“I know that this news will be a real disappointment to many people and we’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received in each of these projects.
“I am very aware of the importance of these sites and I am determined that we will work closely with Highland Council and Cairngorms National Park to find the right solutions for each community.”
Councillor Andrew Baxter, Fort William and Ardnamurchan, said the company had confirmed what everyone in Lochaber had suspected for so long.
And he pointed out that councillors made the right decision before Christmas when they gave the go ahead for the proposed retail development in North road, which will include an Aldi store.
He said: “This went against planning officers recommendations to refuse the application, because they preferred the Tesco development at Blar Mhor.”
Developers, Morbaine, were granted permission for the £10million development, which would include Aldi and Home Bargains and may also attract Marks & Spencer.