Hopes of bringing more than 150 new jobs to Chesterfield have been dashed – after Go Outdoors scrapped plans to relocate to the town.
The leading camping retailer was told last September that it could transform the abandoned Tesco site, on Meltham Lane, Tapton, into a combined head office and superstore.
However, the Derbyshire Times has learned today that the company does not want to go ahead with the move.
Motor firm Arnold Clark has now lodged a planning application with Chesterfield Borough Council to turn the site into a car showroom. This would create new jobs but it is not yet clear exactly how many.
Mark Thomas, spokesman for Tesco, which owns the Meltham Lane land, said: “While it is disappointing that Go Outdoors is no longer interested in the site, we’re pleased that Arnold Clark is looking to bring it back into use and create new jobs.”
The Go Outdoors superstore promised to create 160 roles for local people.
One hundred workers based at the firm’s headquarters in Sheffield were also expected to move to the former Tesco site, which has stood empty since 2010 when the supermarket opened a larger store across the road.
When the news was first announced nearly a year ago, politicians and business leaders said having such a well-known name in Chesterfield would strengthen the town’s national reputation for investment and retail offering.
Go Outdoors, however, declined to express its joy at the announcement.
The retailer has so far not responded to questions from the Derbyshire Times about why it no longer wants to move to Chesterfield.