Work is underway on town’s new Aldi

An artist's impression of the new Aldi and B&M development in Featherstone at the former Crystal Drinks site
An artist's impression of the new Aldi and B&M development in Featherstone at the former Crystal Drinks site

Work to build a new supermarket at the former Crystal Drinks site in Featherstone is underway.

Developer Dearne Estates has started to construct a new Aldi store as well as a B&M shop with a garden centre, at the land off Wakefield Road.

And when it is complete, the development could create 120 jobs for the local community.

Featherstone councillor Graham Isherwood said: “This major development shows that people have got faith in the town and are willing to invest in it, which is welcome news.

“The stores are going to bring much-needed jobs for local people, which is one of our key priorities.

“The site itself will look so much better and people won’t have to go trailing into Pontefract or Castleford to do their shopping anymore.

“It’s going to bring all sorts of benefits.”

Ben Ellis of Dearne Estates told the Express last year that the plans for the long-term derelict site “would fulfil a local need for additional choice and affordable shopping provision”. He said: “The proposals will create 120 jobs for local residents and provide a valuable economic boost to the town.”

The building work is expected to be completed by the end of October. The units will then be handed to the retailers, who hope to open for Christmas.

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.

Dearne Estates was granted planning approval for the current development last November.

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

“We are looking forward to see ing the site developed.”