Morrisons eyes up Sidmouth estate

PUBLISHED: 17:12 06 June 2012

Morrisons

Morrisons

Archant

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons has declared an interest in the Alexandria Industrial Estate, say the owners of a fourth generation family firm that owns half of the site.

But Fords of Sidmouth bosses this week told the Herald that the retailer does not have an option to purchase their land - and the estate’s destiny is as much in the hands of other business owners there as theirs.

Tim and Mike Ford revealed several large companies had approached them over their firm’s current home - as they spoke about their “exciting” vision to invest £5million in a new employment site at Sidford.

The businessmen say they are currently looking to expand to the proposed development rather than relocate, and that the project will bring new jobs to the Sid Valley.

On Morrisons and the Alexandria estate, Tim Ford said: “We have been approached by large companies, like a supermarket and builders’ merchants, but only own 50 per cent of the site, so we can’t do anything with it.

“In terms of what might happen in the future, we don’t know the answer.

“We don’t plan to vacate here at the moment.

“We have been approached by Morrisons, but they do not have an option on this land. No contract has been signed.”

The Fords said they had invested heavily in the Alexandria estate so their firm could become a regional leader in renewable energy.

They said that, whatever might happen to their Alexandria land in the future, they would reinvest any cash from it into their planned project in Sidford.

They added that their Alexandria estate neighbours had not expressed any interest in relocating to the potential new site.

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