Former Stowmarket Aldi building and car park purchased by district council
A vacant former supermarket and car park in a prominent Stowmarket location have been purchased by the district council.
The Aldi site, in Gipping Way, has been bought by Mid Suffolk District Council, which will try to bring it back into use following the retailer's departure more than a year ago.
The council will now operate the car park and find a new tenant for the building.
Cllr Nick Gowrley, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “This purchase is a significant step in our aim to support the economic development of the town.
"There have been concerns about the future of this key site, but we are committed to making it more viable for local businesses and enables us to operate the car park effectively."
The purchase is part of the council's Vision for Prosperity for the town – a five-year action plan to revitalise the town centre and attract more businesses and visitors.
David Blackburn, Stowmarket Town Council clerk, welcomed the news.
"We support the steps that are being taken by the district council to stimulate economic activity, including the purchase and re-use of the premises formerly occupied by Aldi," he said.
"Stowmarket is a fast-growing town and we welcome proposals such as this, that seek to support enterprise and employment."
Cllr Gerard Brewster, cabinet member for economy, said: “We want to show others that the council is willing and able to use its powers and resources to remove barriers. We also want to make it easier for businesses to invest in the future of Stowmarket."
The council has been criticised in the past for investing outside the area, through Mid Suffolk and Babergh's joint CIFCO Capital Ltd investment arm.