A new era in the long and illustrious history of Faringdon began on Friday 15th July, when local MP, Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey, who was recently appointed to the Privy Council, officially named the Oxfordshire market town’s new retail centre, FARINGDON PARK.
Based on the A420, on the junction with Park Road, COSTA COFFEE will be the first of three new operations to open their doors in the next six months. Louise Morgan, Senior Acquisitions Manager for Costa Coffee commented: “We are pleased to announce that we are opening a brand new drive-thru store within the Faringdon Park retail development in 2017. As well as providing our coffee loving on-the-go customers with a quality cup of coffee whilst on the move, we are also going to be creating 8-10 new jobs. We are looking forward to being a part of the local community, getting involved with events, providing the store as a meeting place and helping with fundraising.”
Award winning supermarket ALDI is due to open in Spring 2017 and will offer local residents increased choice for their food shopping in Faringdon. Typically, Aldi customers save between 30 and 40 percent on their usual food shop without compromising on quality.
With parking for up to 180 cars on site, Royal Warrant holder, WAITROSE, the grocery brand of the John Lewis Partnership, will also be opening a new store in the Spring. A Waitrose spokesperson said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers to our new shop and becoming part of the local community. As well as bringing our quality food and drink and fantastic service to Faringdon, our cafe will be a great place to relax.”
Faringdon Park, which is being built by Britannia Construction, for Aviva Investors, will be the first location in the UK to accommodate a Waitrose and Aldi next to each other as part of a new purpose built development, creating over 125 full and part time jobs.
Welcoming shoppers to the historic Oxfordshire town is by no means a new experience as Faringdon was first granted a Warrant to hold a market in 1218. The arrival of Aldi and Waitrose to the town continues a near 800-year-old unbroken history of providing a central location for the villages in the Vale of The White Horse to buy their weekly groceries. The Fairtrade town, which has a population of over 7,000, has a wide range of successful independent retailers and a regular weekly market selling local produce together with other markets run by volunteer groups such as the local WI.
Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP commented: “I am so delighted to see Faringdon and the entrepreneurial spirit of its inhabitants coming together to drive commerce, increase employment, spread prosperity, and announce to the world that Faringdon is open for business.”
Faringdon’s Town Mayor, Dr Mike Wise, added: “The development of the site will provide £60,000 of contributions towards Faringdon’s infrastructure. These contributions have been successfully negotiated by Faringdon Town Council and will be used to help develop links with the town centre, support the local markets and improve Faringdon’s economy.”
Roger Cox, local Vale of the White Horse District Councillor, commented: “If proof was ever needed that Faringdon is an important part of the Vale – this is it. Faringdon Park is a very exciting destination landmark which will increase Faringdon’s appeal as a retail destination by drawing back the 60% of people who currently live in the town’s catchment but who use other towns to do their food shopping. Attracting more people back to Faringdon will increase footfall for the entire town.”
Oxfordshire County Councillor, Judith Heathcoat, said: “We desperately need more support for the increasing number of people coming to Oxfordshire. We need more small and medium enterprises to become established here, and we need more commercial enterprises to help them. Stores like Aldi and Waitrose are indicative of a town’s burgeoning success, and we must not let go of the opportunities presented.”