A long-awaited new supermarket in Peterhead could create 35 jobs and pave the way for another store.
German supermarket giant Aldi is on the brink of submitting a planning application for a shop on the former Kirkburn Mill site.
The firm first bought the old textile mill in 2008, but despite plans for a branch on the empty ground near Kirk Street, no construction has ever taken place and many regard it as an eyesore.
Yesterday Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson revealed Aldi was in the final stages of preparing an application, which is expected to be lodged with Aberdeenshire Council by the end of the month.
Mr Stevenson, who met with the firm’s property director Robert Stoddart last week, said he was delighted plans are being drawn up.
“The first phase of the project will be to develop the Aldi store with car parking on part of the four and a half acre site,” he said. “Another unit will be set up close by for another retailer to come in.
“I am very encouraged that this prominent site at the entrance to the town centre could become a hub of activity again.”
It is understood the new store could create 35 new jobs for the local economy. The second retail area under consideration would be sold off and any incoming business would be able to share car parking space with the supermarket.
The Kirkburn Mill site is currently allocated for retail use but this permission is set to expire in November.
Last month Aldi’s chief executive for Scotland, Matthew Barnes, said his team was in the final stages of drawing up a “major” application.
He said: “Should our planning application be successful, Aldi will look to begin the process of delivering our long-awaited store to the Peterhead community.”
At one stage Aldi bosses floated the idea of selling Kirkburn Mill to Aberdeenshire Council as a potential site for their new north-east HQ, Buchan House.
However the local authority balked at the undisclosed asking price and instead developed at site at nearby St Peter Street.