Food stores plan could bring 120 jobs to town

120 jobs could be created as part of plans for a new Aldi and B&M store on the site of the former Crystal Drinks in Featherstone.'Councillors Graham Isherwood and Richard Taylor
120 jobs could be created as part of plans for a new Aldi and B&M store on the site of the former Crystal Drinks in Featherstone.'Councillors Graham Isherwood and Richard Taylor

Plans to build a supermarket and B&M Bargains store on the site of the former Crystal Drinks site in Featherstone could create 120 jobs.

Developer Dearne Estates has announced it is looking to build an Aldi food store and the B&M store on the Wakefield Road site.

Featherstone councillor Graham Isherwood said: “This is excellent news and not just because of the jobs on their own.

“I think it’s a bit of everything. Obviously the jobs are vitally important but there is also an increase in choice for shoppers in the town.

“What pleases me more than anything is that people are starting to talk about Featherstone.”

Work is already underway to build 450 homes on land just off the A645 Pontefract Road near The Junction pub.

Coun Isherwood said: “It’s great that people are investing in Featherstone and I think it proves that we are moving in the right direction.

“We have been in the doldrums for a long time but we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Crystal Drinks site has been vacant since the factory closed in 2003.

Planning permission for a supermarket was granted in 2013 but no company came forward to invest in the site.

Coun Isherwood said: “It is a huge piece of land but it has just sat vacant for such a long time.

“We want to see the site developed. It doesn’t achieve anything to have it sat empty.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is really good news for the district because it’s going to bring much needed jobs to the area.”