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Timings for the delivery of the £150 million regeneration of Great Homer Street have been confirmed in another positive step forward for the vital North Liverpool regeneration scheme.

A planning application for the new large format Sainsbury’s food store will be submitted, and Sainsbury’s plans to begin construction on site in summer next year, with the store opening in spring 2017. The revised planning application will take into account changes in retail and customer shopping requirements since Sainsbury’s committed to Project Jennifer in 2010. The store will be smaller than originally planned, but still comprises 40,000 sq ft*, offering Sainsbury’s full range of good and services, including a café.

The project, locally known as “Project Jennifer”, broke ground last November and site preparation works are due to complete this month. In addition, the £4 million highway works phase of the scheme, which includes improvements to Great Homer Street and Scotland Road, together with a new link road and junction between the two, are underway and expected to complete in summer next year.

New retail units comprising 80,000 sq ft will also be constructed and will open to coincide with the new Sainsbury’s store. St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has already begun demolition of the existing buildings on site to make way for these facilities and work is due to complete before the end of this year.

Christian Wakelin, Property Development Manager for Sainsbury’s said: “We’re looking forward to opening our new store in 2017.  However since our proposals were first announced, the food retail market and customer shopping patterns have changed considerably which is why we are submitting revised plans for a smaller store to Liverpool Council. We look forward to a decision being made in the coming months.”

Paul Batho, Projects Director at St. Modwen, said: “Work on site at Project Jennifer has progressed significantly over the last year, with site preparation and remediation now almost complete and the highway works about to begin. Revising the plans to ensure that the Sainsbury’s store is in keeping with what customers want is essential. We are pleased that Project Jennifer is moving forwards and we look forward to opening the new district centre in 2017.”

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said: “While these changes are slightly disappointing, they don’t change the fact that Project Jennifer is part of a radical transformation and still represents a huge investment in the area. This week’s opening of the new Evertro wheels park, the new school we have built and the hugely successful new Greatie Market, alongside Project Jennifer, show the city’s commitment to investing in a successful and deliverable vibrant new start for the area.”

This major regeneration scheme, which has been much needed and wanted by the local community for many years, will transform this part of North Liverpool. It will create more than 1,000 jobs and provide a district centre for the area, as well as improved public spaces and road improvements. The commencement of main site works represents the substantial investment being made in the city and brings more than 10 years of work to fruition. It is testament to the support for the project in the local area.

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