Traders’ fears over Booths’ Ansdell exit

Marcus Worthington Group plans for the former DWP site in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes
Marcus Worthington Group plans for the former DWP site in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes

Business leaders in Ansdell spoke of their sadness as it was revealed the ‘heart’ of the village will close to be replaced by a newer, larger supermarket in Fylde.

As revealed in the Express last week, Booths in Woodlands Road, Ansdell, is to close, and be replaced by a 20,000sq ft store in Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, on the Premium Bonds site.

Helen Ashton, of the Ansdell Business Traders group, said it was “very sad” to see the food chain leave the area.

She said: “Ansdell businesses have a big issue with the proposed relocation of their Booths Store in Ansdell, obviously this has come as a blow to Ansdell traders and residents alike as Booths has been the heart of Ansdell since 1947.

“We will be very sad to see Booths go.”

Fellow member Linda McKay added: “The main concern is who will replace it.

“As the building is owned by Booths themselves it means they can chose who they let it to.

“Obviously their new store isn’t that far away so they are going to be vigilant about their choice of competitor and we have concerns as to the reputation and standard of their replacement.

“Their choice will have a massive effect on surrounding businesses and the residents of Ansdell.

“We need to keep Ansdell with a store of quality.

“ We do not want a low level convenience store. This would have a detrimental effect on Ansdell as a whole.”

The blow to Ansdell comes just months after it was announced the village would be part of a £250,000 regeneration scheme, with much of the work taking place near to the Booths store.

Mrs McKay added: “Ansdell is about to start the first phase to its regeneration programme which is most welcomed by the traders.

“A sum of money has been allocated to Ansdell, the first in 50 years.

“While Lytham and St Annes have had a lot of money spent on regeneration, at long last the councillors of Ansdell have won their lengthy battle in scoring funding for Ansdell.

“They are looking forward to further funding being available to continue on with further phases in the village.

“The Booths store in Ansdell was a beneficiary of this funding as the first phase incorporates their forecourt and pathways.”