Village shop to reopen after believe housing secures new long-term tenant for former Sainsbury’s Local

Plans to reopen a ‘lifeline’ village shop in County Durham have been welcomed.

A One Stop convenience store will open in the former Sainsbury’s Local in Grove Road, Brandon, after a long-term deal was agreed with the site’s owners, believe housing.

The County Durham-based housing association has agreed a 15-year lease of the unit to Wilson Retail Limited, a franchise of the One Stop retail company.

Wilson Retail Limited and One Stop plan to carry out a £150,000 upgrade of the unit over the summer, before opening the shop later in the year.

Kate Abson, Director of Development at believe housing, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing a convenience store back to Brandon, as we know people were disappointed when Sainsbury’s Local moved out under a break option in their lease.

“This new 15-year lease will ensure the community has access to a good selection of products, at competitive prices, for the long-term.”

Daniel Wilson, director of Wilson Retail Ltd, said: “The Brandon store appealed to us straight away because we are already based in the north east.

“The village is a great size for a convenience store and it is perfectly located, with excelled parking facilities.

“We worked with believe housing and offered a vision of how we could reopen and modernise the location, as I know they were keen to get the best possible retailer they could for the area.

“We believe we can provide an excellent convenience store that Brandon wants and needs.”

The news has been welcomed by Durham County Councillors for Brandon, Jonathan Elmer and Paul Taylor, who say residents have missed having a shop on their doorstep since Sainsbury’s Local closed in May 2021.

Councillor Jonathan Elmer said: “The difficulties caused by the loss of the Sainsbury’s Local last spring was something residents raised with me, time and again, on the doorstep.

“Having discussed this with believe housing about a year ago, I was reassured to hear that they were actively seeking a new tenant.

“I’m so pleased to hear that they have found one.”

Cllr Paul Taylor said: “To say I am delighted that we are to have a new convenience store on Grove Road would be an understatement.

“Local residents were so very upset by loss of the shop, a shop at this location was a lifeline for the many older residents that live in this area of our community.

“I want to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to believe housing, who I have had regular communication with over the months, for bringing a leading, and much-respected retailer to Brandon.

“I extend a very warm welcome to One Stop from myself and our community.”