Great Yarmouth shopping centre proposal would create 150 jobs

PUBLISHED: 08:47 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:39 31 January 2014

Empty land next to Pasta Foods and the Tesco Extra store in Great Yarmouth which is looking to be used for new out of town retail units.

Picture: James Bass

Empty land next to Pasta Foods and the Tesco Extra store in Great Yarmouth which is looking to be used for new out of town retail units. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Plans for a new edge-of-town shopping centre have been unveiled that could bring 150 jobs to Great Yarmouth.

Pasta Foods was today holding a public consultation event from 11am to 7pm at its site in Pasteur Road for people to look at proposals for wasteland it owns behind its factory.

The proposal comes hot on the heels of a planning application last week for a Marstons pub and coffee-drive-thru-restaurant close to the land, off Jones Way.

Ahead of the consultation, the plans were welcomed in principle by Bernard Williamson, the borough council’s cabinet member for regeneration, who said: “We support new jobs coming to Yarmouth and the development of wasteland provided there are sufficent measures to manage traffic flow; there would also be natural concerns about any impact on the town centre.”

Yarmouth town centre manager Jonathan Newman emphasised fears for the town centre where there is currently a 14pc vacancy rate and said in the current climate there was only a limited pool of expanding retailers and such a site would be directly competing against the town centre.

However, Pasta Foods’ managing director Karl Jermyn said: “We would anticipate entirely new retailers coming to Great Yarmouth and would not see existing town retailers moving there from their present sites.

“If we can create a centre to compare with Norwich it will only boost the economy of Yarmouth.

“While it is out of town it is close enough to be connected to the centre and can be viewed as expanding the retail offer of the town.”

Mr Jermyn said plans for the development would be submitted to the borough council following the public consultation.

The land has become available because the site is no longer large enough to fulfill Pasta Foods’ expansion needs.

Mr Jermyn said: “The way we have grown in the last two years that land is not sufficient.

“We looked at other local sites, such as Beacon Park, for a second factory, but are now opening one in Forest Way, Norwich.

“We have six production lines working to maximum capacity in Yarmouth and Norwich will give us a seventh.”

Pasta Foods, whose turnover has increased from £17m in 2008 to £27m, employs 140 people in Yarmouth and the new plant will employ another 
30 staff this year, eventually building to 50.

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