Aldi bring forward plans for new £4.7 million store in Dumbarton (updated)

An artist’s impression  of the proposed ALDI supermarket

By Bill Heaney

Supermarket giant Aldi has announced plans for a new £4.7 million store in Dumbarton and want the public to attend a consultation event on the proposals.

According to the company, the development will create around 35 local jobs within the store, along with new jobs during construction and within the Aldi supply chain.

The proposed site, located  in Castle Street, would mark Aldi’s first outlet in Dumbarton and is near a number of other supermarkets including ASDA, M&S, and B&M in the St James retail park and LIDL, which is also on a relatively new site in Castle Street with spectacular views of Dumbarton Castle.

The proposed new store will deliver a 1842sqm unit, including sales floor, staff welfare and storage areas. It will include 88 parking bays, including 72 standard, 8 parent and child, 4 accessible and 4 electric vehicle spaces.

There are already car parks at St James retail park; the LIDL site in Castle Street; West Dunbartonshire Council offices in Castle Street; the Masonic Hall in Church Street; Dumbarton Sheriff Court; St Patrick’s Church and Dumbarton Library in Strathleven Place; Dumbarton Quay; Bridge Street, Dumbarton Health Centre and the former Job Centre in Artizan. There is also a car park near to St James in Park Street, Newtown.

The announcement comes ahead of a public consultation event that will take place at the Riverside Parish Church (High Street, Dumbarton, G82 1NB) on Wednesday, 27 September, between 3-7pm.

The event will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the proposals, ask questions of the project team, and leave feedback.

Information on the proposals will also be available to view via the project’s dedicated website which will be live from Wednesday 20th September.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We are excited to be announcing our proposals for a new store in Dumbarton. We have long strived for a store in Dumbarton, and we are delighted to be bringing these plans forward.

“An Aldi store would bring significant investment of £6 million to the local area, along with around 35 new jobs, whilst supporting other local businesses through our investment in the Scottish food and drink sector.

“I would urge anyone with an interest in the proposals to attend our consultation event and view the plans online.”

The announcement is accompanied by a media release which states that Aldi is one of Britain’s fastest-growing supermarkets with 1000 stores and around 40,000 colleagues.

It adds: “The supermarket believes in making everyday amazing and delivering the best possible value for millions of families throughout the UK and Ireland.

“That’s why Aldi is the UK’s cheapest supermarket, according to consumer champion Which? (May 2023) as well as being named the UK’s Cheapest Supermarket for 2021 and 2022.

“Aldi consistently racks up award after award for quality, treats its suppliers and employees with fairness and respect and recognises the responsibility of supporting valued institutions such as Team GB and Paralympics GB to demonstrate the importance of health and wellness.

“Aldi makes the everyday amazing. But amazing doesn’t happen overnight, which is why Aldi is making changes to be better every single day – to be fairer, greener and healthier for customers, society and the environment.”

Meanwhile, West Dunbartonshire Council is desperate to find an anchor store for the near abandoned Artizan Centre in Dumbarton Town Centre, which is due to benefit from a £20 million “levelling up” project from the UK Conservative government.

One of the main aims of that project was to increase “footfall,” the number of people making use of the High Street and Town Centre, although this new Aldi store is bound to attract some people away from that area.

Moving the main council offices from Garshake to the old Burgh Hall in Church Street, which was refurbished and extended at a cost of more than £16 million, was supposed to achieve that aim but failed miserably.

It was also intended that the Burgh Hall should include a new Council Chambers to replace the existing ones in Clydebank Town Hall and the Municipal Buildings in Dumbarton, but what has been created within the old Burgh Hall has been criticised for the poor view of the people taking part in meetings and the sound system, which makes what is going on barely audible.

What has been created in the Municipal Buildings, pictured left, are plush individual offices, which overlook the manicured lawns and carefully tended flower beds and private parking, for the councillors and their secretaries.

A museum which was created at great expense within Clydebank Town Hall has failed to attract sufficient visitors to make it viable and the Council is having significant difficulty attracting the public to book the building for events.

There are also plans for the Council to develop Glencairn House in the High Street as a museum, library and cafe. And a quiet spot to read.

But the library area, which looks out on to the Dumbarton Quay, the River Leven and Levengrove Park is within yards of the “beer garden”  for the Captain James Lang public house site, which formerly housed Woolworth’s store. Hardly a quiet spot to read.

And anyway some of the library staff themselves think the Glencairn House idea is crazy and that the existing library in Strathleven Place is more than adequate to accommodate their needs.

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