Lidl Northern Ireland has officially opened its brand-new store at Hillview Retail Park, Crumlin Road in north-west Belfast, jumpstarting a major redevelopment of the formerly dormant site which has been without a big anchor tenant since 2007.
The new store opening takes the retailer’s total store count to 41 across the region and injects an investment of £6.7 million directly into the local area, creating 35 new retail jobs. A further 250 jobs were also supported during construction.
Spanning a 2,147 sq. m area, incorporating an expansive sales floor area measuring 1,420 sq. m, the new store is built to Lidl Northern Ireland’s bold ‘Concept’ design which prioritises sustainability, spacious, wide aisles, long tills, restrooms, staff and baby-changing facilities to dramatically enhance a high-quality shopping experience.
The store was opened on Thursday 18th February by schoolchildren from nearby Holy Cross Boys Primary School and Edenbrooke Primary School, who officially cut the ribbon and welcomed the first customers inside. The local schools were also presented with £500 each in vouchers to spend in the brand-new store.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Frank McCoubrey, said: “The arrival of Lidl is a very welcome investment for north Belfast and is creating jobs, which is good news for the local community. The impressive new store offers a first class shopping experience and I am pleased to hear that the company is committed to sustainability, focusing on preserving and protecting the local environment. I wish all of the management and staff the best of luck in the time ahead.”
Lidl’s Northern Ireland’s latest store opening is part of a wider plan drive major improvements across its service provision and reflects its commitment to a major multi-million-pound investment programme to expand and enhance its store count to 50 by the end of the decade.
Hillview Retail Park occupies a landmark position north-west of the city on the Crumlin Road, which stretches for four miles from the city centre to the outskirts and serves as the main through road towards Crumlin town, located approximately 14 miles from Belfast. The once popular shopping district was previously home to Dunnes Stores but has lain dormant since its closure in 2007.
The site boasts a strong local road network linked to the M1 motorway and extensive parking of around 280 spaces in an established retail location which is set to undergo further development later this year as it welcomes a mix of retail and leisure businesses to its vacant units, including Home Bargains. Plans are also in place for a proposed social housing scheme.
Thomas McFarlane, Hillview Retail Park Store Manager at Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “Hillview Retail Park is an outstanding location serving a busy local community and we’re delighted to confirm our investment as its anchor tenant. This once popular shopping destination is primed for a new future of growth and we’re proud to be part of this significant regeneration.
Our new store means that more people can now shop local for essential groceries right in the heart of the community and enjoy our Big on Quality, Lidl on Price proposition which has resonated so well with communities across the region. We look forward to welcoming everyone through our doors soon.”
In December 2020, Lidl Northern Ireland opened its 40th store in the region whilst also confirming an investment of £32 million into the Greater Belfast area to include the Crumlin Road store as well as properties at Boucher Road, Castlereagh Road, Holywood Exchange and Shore Road.
Lidl Northern Ireland contributes around £180 million a year to the local economy, sustaining 3,500 jobs while buying and exporting as much as £290 million worth of local goods and products.