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Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has announced it will operate a flagship store at the heart of a £150million scheme to regenerate Great Homer Street.

Liverpool City Council and development partner St Modwen said the news marks a significant step towards the creation of a new district centre in north Liverpool. The deal will see the development of a 110,000 sq ft store at the heart of the Project Jennifer scheme.

Cllr Peter Millea, the City Council’s Executive Member for Assets and Development, said: “This is marvelous news. Project Jennifer is a scheme which is overwhelmingly supported by the local community and they will be delighted that it is making progress.

“The creation of a new district centre in this location is vital to the regeneration of North Liverpool and Sainsbury’s decision will help us achieve that.

“It is a major vote of confidence in the area at the time when many developments are falling by the wayside because of the current economic climate. There is still a long way to go before work can start on site but the Council is committed to seeing this project through because of its importance to the regeneration of this area.”

Jo Try, Regional Development Executive, who is heading the project for Sainsbury’s, said: “This is an important breakthrough at a time when the entire development industry is struggling to make schemes stack up. We are totally committed to playing our part in the important regeneration of this area by creating jobs for local people and providing a much-needed outlet for great quality, affordable produce.”

Michelle Taylor, regional director of St Modwen, said: “We welcome the news that Sainsbury’s wishes to become part of the transformation of Great Homer Street. However, we cannot underestimate the amount of work still to be done before we can proceed. Once this has been resolved we can then proceed with the land assembly.”

It is expected that land assembly will begin in spring 2010. St Modwen was selected as preferred developer in 2004 and a development agreement was signed in 2005. Outline planning permission for the scheme was granted earlier this year.

Notes to editors:

The original masterplan for the scheme included the creation of:

• 480 new homes

• 740 new full time jobs, created by the new shopping and business facilities

• 160 of these jobs will be created by the largest food superstore in Merseyside (115,000 sq/ft)

• A new library and Internet centre

• A new health centre with a doctors’ and dentists’ surgery

• A new purpose built site for Paddy’s Market

• New public realm and improvements to Everton Park

• 80,000 sq/ft of new retail in addition to the food store

• Replacement light industrial and business space

St. Modwen is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, operating across the full spectrum of the property industry through a network of seven regional offices and a Birmingham based head office. The company is wholly focussed upon regeneration with expertise in brownfield land renewal, partnering with industry, town centre regeneration, Innovation Centres and education projects.