LETTER: New Tesco plan - no reason for concern

We would like to raise our concerns about misleading information circulating in Barnoldswick regarding the Tesco development and involvement of Leggett and Platt.

We have seen a leaflet wildly claiming the development will result in a drop in house prices, loss of jobs, money leaving the area, increased vandalism, anti-social behaviour and included comments about the size of the Tesco store, none of which are supported by any evidence.

Leggett and Platt has a dilapidated and partly disused factory on the development site. By selling half of this site with planning permission, it will enable us to invest scarce capital and improve our remaining part to ensure we remain competitive against international competition with our dedicated just-in-time supply of spring products for Silentnight Beds, another important manufacturer and employer in the town.

The company views the development as being necessary for maintaining and developing our manufacturing facility which employs 36 mainly-local people plus supporting businesses. We also believe this multi-million pound investment, at a time of economic difficulties, will enable the improvement of the area, give car parking access to the town as well and provide 175 more new local employment opportunities on the site than if it is retained as it is for non-retail purposes.

We do not view the size of the development is out of proportion to the town or will offer the threat to local retail that existing stores in other towns clearly already do. Anecdotally from our employees the vast majority already shop outside Barnoldswick and this development gives families and those without their own transport more choice locally which will retain business in the area and presumably reduce traffic which is better for the environment.

A.M. JOYCE

President, Leggett & Platt Components Europe