A NEW Home Bargains store could be coming to Swindon.
And the company wants it to be able to sell food and drink as well as household goods.
A planning application has been launched by the company to take over the empty Toys R Us store in Stratton, near the White Hart Roundabout.
Home Bargains’ parent company TJ Morris Ltd wants to take over the store which has been unused since April 2018. It says the new shop will create as many as 90 jobs.
Its application says: “Despite difficult trading conditions, retail demand does exist for Home Bargains, which is looking to strengthen its existing representation in Swindon.”
It says contracts have been exchange between the parent company and Toys R Us.
As well as the budget homewares the company has made its reputation with, the new store could have as much as 30 per cent of its floorspace devoted to food. Its application says this is “fundamental” for its plans for the unit.
Ward councillor Roger Smith said: “My personal view is that I welcome the proposal which would allow the vacant Toys R Us store to be reused.
“A new store would create more local jobs and it would provide greater competition for existing food stores in Stratton, such as Sainsbury’s.”
The Conservative cabinet member for economy and place Oliver Donachie is also pleased by the news, and says if the new store is approved it will benefit from road improvements in the immediate area.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to the site coming back to life, especially with our expansion of the road network in the area.
“It should allow good access for both the company and visitors to the site.”
In terms of the building Home Bargains’ plans are minor – it wants to replace the signage and change the layout of the car park and to build new entrances, removing some of the doors and windows.
The company will also remove the existing mezzanine floor inside, reducing the available sales space by 20 per cent.
If the move is approved by Swindon Borough Council this will be the third Home Bargains store in the town, with others at Barnfield Road and Hobley Drive.
The Adver approached Home Bargains for comment, but a spokesman said the company’s policy was not to say anything about planning applications before they were decided.