Supermarket giant Morrisons has cancelled its plans to establish a new store in Cumbernauld.
The news is a devastating blow for the town which expected to reap up to 400 new jobs in a 58,697 foot store which was earmarked for Westfield.
Planning permission had been granted by North Lanarkshire Council last autumn but it was stressed that construction would not begin until this year, partly as a result of red tape.
Last week, queries from this newspaper about the viability of the project went unanswered and it has now emerged that Morrison’s has pulled out of the project.
A Morrison’s spokesperson confirmed: ‘‘Regrettably we have ended our involvement with the developer and as a result we will not continue with our plans for a new store in Cumbernauld.
“We understand that this is a disappointing outcome for shoppers following the level of support expressed for a new store and would like to thank the community for their support and patience.’’
MP Gregg McClymont- who wrote to the firm last week amidst fears that all was not well- told the News and Chronicle that he was bitterly disappointed.
The Labour man said: “It’s also disappointing that it has taken Morrisons until now, after I pressed them on the matter to let us know they’d pulled out.
“The developer will have to come back with a more detailed plan before full permission is granted so I hope another operator can move into the site.’’
For more on this story, see next week’s edition of the News and Chronicle.