Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Asda store could create up to 450 jobs on Isle of Wight

Up to 450 jobs could be created after a supermarket agreed to buy council-owned land on the Isle of Wight.

Asda will build a 45,000 sq ft superstore in 2012 at St George's Way, Newport, if planning permission is given the go-ahead.

The island has suffered hundreds of job losses in recent months after the Conservative-run council axed 500 jobs as part of £32m spending cuts.

Last year 425 jobs were lost when wind turbine blade factory Vestas closed.

Residents are being encouraged to give views on the proposed development.

'Difficult times'

The council said the development, near Newport Football Club, would not only create jobs but would open "lucrative" new markets for local suppliers.

Councillor George Brown said: "Economic regeneration is a major priority for this council.

"At a difficult time this latest scheme will hopefully continue to underline the message that we are a council that actively encourages and facilitates appropriate inward investment."

But Mike McGrath, who runs local business website notinthewightstreet.com said smaller businesses in Newport could be affected by the presence of another supermarket.

"Anything that brings jobs to the island, personally i think is a good thing, but at what cost?

"They may bring jobs... but if the smaller businesses drop out, they have employees, they have families that they support, I just feel that the island for its population and density probably has enough."

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