Local businesses unhappy as food retailer confirmed for Keynsham

The new civic centre development is nearing completion

The new civic centre development is nearing completion

Following our article in last week’s issue (309) on the retail units within the forthcoming Civic Centre development, we understand that agreement has been reached with a national food retailer to occupy one of the anchor sites.

As recently as last week, B&NES Council was still officially refusing to confirm reports but sources within the council have told the Week In that a deal has been done with a major food retailer. B&NES has previously confirmed that it has been in negotiation with national retailers who did not currently have a presence in Keynsham.  Several names have been mentioned in the subsequent rumour mill including Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer. Due to the restricted size of the unit however, it is known the store will be for basket shopping only.

Yet the search to bring national companies into Keynsham as part of the town’s regeneration, has not been unanimously welcomed.  Reacting to the latest news, one local retailer told us: “The council wants to be congratulated for bringing national retailers into Keynsham but they don’t seem to care about the independent businesses which are already here.

“A food supermarket in the centre is likely to be selling vegetables, bread, sandwiches and newspapers – all of which you can already buy from local businesses within 50 metres.

“The problem is that decisions are being made by people who don’t live in Keynsham or care about the consequences.”