New supermarket will pay £250,000 for Penzance's improvements
Groundworks for a new supermarket in West Cornwall are due to begin in a few months.
Sainsbury's will start development of its store at the former Penzance heliport and home of British International Helicopters at Eastern Green.
As work begins, thousands of pounds is expected to flood into Penzance. Ben Littman, regional development executive for the supermarket in the South West said: "Sainsbury's is anticipating work will start in spring with a store opening before the end of the year, if all goes to plan."
A total of £249,500 is set to be handed to Penzance by Sainsbury's under a Section 106 planning agreement. Under the terms, £130,000 will be used for town centre improvements, £25,000 for events, £25,000 for marketing and promotion, £49,500 for introducing a town centre co-ordinator and £20,000 for the introduction of a Business Improvement District (BID).
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Local businesses must vote to become a BID which, if approved, would see traders paying the equivalent of 1 or 2 per cent of their business rates into a ring-fenced fund to be used for the benefit of the town.
"I am convinced that a BID would give an enormous benefit to Penzance," said Dick Cliffe, chairman of the town's chamber of commerce. But he added that a concerted effort would be needed to show traders they should part with their hard-earned cash.
"If people do not have confidence in it then they will vote against it. But if it does go ahead, it would provide guaranteed income to be spent promoting the town."