End of the Rainbow
PUBLISHED: 12:28 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:54 06 May 2010
ASDA is set to come to the rescue of many workers who will lose their jobs when a food store in Biggleswade closes. But the good news on the jobs front is an indoor shopping plaza could be on the cards for the town. Rainbow Foodstore announced last week t
ASDA is set to come to the rescue of many workers who will lose their jobs when a food store in Biggleswade closes.
But the good news on the jobs front is an indoor shopping plaza could be on the cards for the town.
Rainbow Foodstore announced last week that 50 jobs will go when the store, part of the Co-op group, closes its doors in Bonds Lane for the last time in late October.
The store opened in 2004.
Rainbow food executive John Chillcott said: "The Anglia Regional Co-operative Society Limited has with regret, made the decision to close the Rainbow Food store at Biggleswade in late autumn.
"It is very important to note that this in no way reflects badly on the store's staff, who tried hard to combat the increased local competition. However, the Society has decided that the store site will be sold for redevelopment in the future, with the exception of the Post Office, which will continue in its operation.
"In recognition of the hard work put in by the staff, the society will seek to reallocate affected staff into other locations, to try and avoid the need for redundancies.
"The society would like to thank all Rainbow customers for their patronage and support over the last couple of years. We shall endeavour to continue to provide a good service through to our intended closure in late October."
An ASDA spokesman said: "We are very sorry to hear of the closure of the Rainbow store.
"Our store has attracted a lot of people to shop at other places in the town and we have consistently been told this so we have been helping support and boost trade in Biggleswade.
"We are now urging those who will be losing their jobs to go along to our Biggleswade store. We are always interested in talking to people who have food retail store experience and it would be foolish to ignore these people who are living on our doorstep and already living in the town."
Martin Thomas, chairman of the Biggleswade Chamber of Trade said even though Rainbow will close the town could become as attractive as Bedford or Cambridge in the future if an indoor plaza housing major retailers is built on the Bonds Lane site.
"It is very sad the store is closing but they knew of ASDA's plans before they moved there," said Mr Thomas.
"The closure of the store is not reflective of trade in Biggleswade. In fact the town is doing extremely well.
"Biggleswade is now expanding and with another 2,400 homes planned we will need all kinds of shops to facilitate the needs of new residents.
"A developer wants to fully develop the Bonds Lane site which covers a large area which could mean a large indoor shopping plaza being built in the town.
"Major companies have been approached and many have shown interest in the plan.
"One must remember Biggleswade is very close to the A1 and more shops in the town would mean more people coming into the town making it more attractive than Bedford or Cambridge.