Lidl NI lodges planning application for new £6m store and drive thru café at Boucher Road

The new development will create up to 100 permanent retail jobs and support a further 200 jobs during the construction phase

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 2:30 pm

Lidl Northern Ireland has submitted plans to Belfast City Council for a new £6 million store which will see the retailer bring its offering to the south Belfast area for the first time.

Located in Boucher Road retail area, and positioned in front of the National Football Stadium and Olympia Leisure Centre, the proposed new store will have a sales area of 1,425 sqm.

The development, which sits on a site of 9,792 sqm, also includes a drive thru café, measuring 566 sqm.

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With an anticipated opening date as early as this year, the new development will create up to 100 permanent retail jobs and support a further 200 jobs during the construction phase.

Planning permission was lodged last month with Belfast City Council for the new store which will be the retailer’s 42nd store in Northern Ireland and its ninth in the Belfast city area. The application follows an extensive local consultation of the plans which were positively received by local representatives and the wider community.

Construction plans reflect designs to build the new store to Lidl Northern Ireland’s established ‘concept’ design, which prioritises sustainability and energy efficiency. A modern fit-out provides a high-quality shopping experience, with wide aisles, longer till points, enhanced restrooms and employee facilities. The site will also include a 148-space car park, including electric vehicle charging points.

Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing supermarket said the investment drive was part of a long-term plan to grow Lidl’s store network to 50 stores across the region and forms part of its announcement last year to commit £32 million to develop five new stores in the Greater Belfast region at Castlereagh Road, Crumlin Road, Boucher Road, Holywood Exchange and Shore Road.

Chris Speers, regional property executive for Lidl NI, said: “Since confirming a £32 million investment into the Greater Belfast region with five key sites, we’re pleased to be delivering these projects at pace and with great success. We’ve opened two new stores at Holywood Exchange and Crumlin Road and I’m pleased to confirm we’re moving ahead with plans to relocate our existing store at Castlereagh Road to an adjacent site and to redevelop and expand our existing Shore Road store.

“Our fifth site at Boucher Road is a strategically-important location for us, expanding our reach into the south Belfast area for the first time and bringing a multi-million pound investment and new jobs to the local area. We’re excited to bring our award-winning Big on Quality, Lidl on Price proposition to thousands of new shoppers and to extend our presence across the city.

“A key commuter belt and prime retail shopping area, the new store at Boucher Road is well-positioned to serve local residents, shoppers, commuters and visitors alike, with the National Football Stadium positioned just behind the store serving as a major footfall driver. We’re also looking forward to creating a drive-thru café that will further enhance our offering.

“We’re pleased to have worked closely with councillors, key businesses and the wider community to bring these plans forward and we are grateful for the positive support we have received for these plans.”

With 41 stores across the region at present, Lidl NI is also advancing plans to progress its £26 million investment into the North West region, with new stores planned at Strabane Shopping Centre in County Tyrone and two stores in Londonderry at Buncrana Road and Crescent Link shopping centre.

Confirmed as Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing supermarket by Kantar, with more than 12% year-on-year sales growth in 2021, the retailer contributes around £180 million a year to the local economy, sustaining 3,500 jobs while buying and exporting as much as £290 million worth of local goods and products.

The company employs more than 1,100 staff across its 41-strong store network and Regional Distribution Centre in Nutt’s Corner, Co. Antrim, and recently announced its recruitment of an additional 170 employees this year.

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