A family-owned chain has entered into “exclusive negotiations” to lease the supermarket which forms the key part of the Malton Livestock Market redevelopment.
Edwin Booth, chairman of upmarket Booths, has given the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate written confirmation of the firm’s intentions – revealing that the store will meet its needs to offer a full range of “quality food and drink to complement established retailers in the town centre”.
It is not yet known how many jobs would be created if the company opens in the area.
The negotiations are the latest chapter in the town’s “store wars” and come ahead of a crunch planning meeting which could see Ryedale District Council grant planning permission to developer GMI Holbeck for a superstore on Wentworth Street Car Park.
Campaigners against the car park development also turned out in force to a meeting of the council on Thursday to support a motion calling for all councillors to be involved in the final decision – instead of solely the planning committee.
The motion was narrowly lost.
Speaking of the company’s intentions, Graham Booth, the firm’s property director, said: “The ethos of Booths, which focuses on strong relationships with the best local suppliers devoted to producing great food and drink fits perfectly with Malton’s aim to become Yorkshire’s Food Capital.
“We share a vision to retail food and drink made in the region with care, integrity and pride.”
“It’s also important that the buildings Booths trade from fit sympathetically with the character of local buildings. I am particularly impressed with the designs by architect Jan Maciag, and how the development fits naturally and sympathetically into Malton’s historic town centre.”
Booths, described as an “upmarket supermarket chain,” currently has 29 stores across Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. The company says it is committed to sourcing products locally and seasonally from the counties it serves.
It would move into a store on Malton Livestock Market, for which the Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate already has outline planning permission.
Roddy Bushell, estate manager for Fitzwilliam (Malton) Estate, said: “This is very good news and a shot in the arm for the town.
“Booths is exactly the high quality retailer we were seeking to open in Malton. Booths has an offer firmly based on good quality food and has a genuine passion for locally sourced food. This chimes exactly with Malton’s growing reputation as Yorkshire’s food capital.”
An opening date for the store depends on many factors, added Mr Bushell, but the two parties believe there is a possibility that it will open during 2016.