Fresh hope over jobs at Blackwood Gate
AFTER the war of words reopened between Labour and Plaid Cymru members over the ill-fated Blackwood Gate Retail Park, the site’s owner has reaffirmed its commitment to bring up to 400 jobs to the town.
A spokesman for Linnell Investments said a “very good dialogue” continues with prospective tenant, supermarket giant Morrisons. He said if the company can secure planning consent for a supermarket at the site, it is confident the park can be “thriving again”.
Reinvigorating the empty retail park was a key pledge of the Labour party in the run-up to their successful local election campaign in May.
The site doesn’t have planning consent for a supermarket to be based there and councillors pledged to try to address this as soon as possible, with Morrisons lined up to take on the main, vacant unit.
The party subsequently regained control of the council, with many senior Plaid Cymru councillors losing their seats, including council leader Allan Pritchard.
Last week, Mr Pritchard accused Labour of making “undeliverable promises”- saying a pledge of bringing 400 new jobs to the site before this Christmas will not happen.
Blackwood’s Labour councillor Nigel Dix responded by saying he and his party remain committed to bringing the jobs to the town.
A Linnell spokesman said: “We have always confirmed that our main objective is to bring Blackwood Gate back into economic use, as it has sadly remained unoccupied for some time.
“We are confident that if we obtain planning consent, in line with our plans, we will see Blackwood Gate thriving again.”
He added that, as investors, the company sees a future for the site but said it is “essential”
that it obtains a new planning consent.
As well as Morrisons, the spokesman said talks have taken place with other companies about taking on the other vacant units there.