A SUPERMARKET confirmed rumours it is looking at a number of sites around Eastbourne.
But Morrisons, which is yet to gain a foothold in the town, would not specify which areas it was reviewing, amid rumours it was looking at the empty Anglo Dutch Meats (ADM) building and other units on an industrial estate in Arkwright Road behind Lottbridge Drove.
A spokesperson said the supermarket could not be more specific because of ‘commercial interests’.
He added, “We are always interested in bringing Morrisons’ range of fresh food and excellent customer service to new areas and are currently reviewing a number of sites in the region.”
Eastbourne Borough Council said it was trying to help Morrisons find a suitable site but no planning application had been entered and the move was unlikely to happen in the immediate future.
Leigh Palmer, development manager for the council, said, “It’s fair to say they’ve had a long-standing wish to move into Eastbourne, their only other sites Seaford and a small one in Hastings.
“They have been asking if we can find them a site for a number of years but we’ve got nothing on the books at the moment.
“But they are always keen to get in.”
Property advisors Stile Harold Williams, estate agents for the property, declined to comment on the speculation.
But staff at Highfield Bodyshop, opposite AGM, said such rumours had been circulating for about six years.
Stephen Lloyd MP said, “I am greatly encouraged that Morrisons are, apparently, giving serious thought to opening a new store on the old ADM site and I have written to their chief executive seeking a firm commitment.”
Christina Ewbank, president of the Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce and retail sales director for Lookers Mercedes-Benz, said, “If Morrisons come to the town it will reflect very well on the Eastbourne economy.
“The fact that stores like Morrisons and The Range are prepared to invest in our town shows great confidence in the area.”