Work underway on Alexandria's long-awaited new Lidl supermarket

Lidl welcomed Martin Rooney and Michelle McGinty, to break ground at the site alongside Ross Jackson, Regional Head of Property at Lidl GB
-Credit: (Image: Lennox Herald)

Work on a new Lidl supermarket in the heart of Alexandria got underway last week.

The long-awaited new store, which is set to open in spring of next year, is key to plans aimed at breathing new life into the heart of the Vale - replacing the eyesore Mitchell Way.

The supermarket giant had been targeting a move to the Vale for almost a decade, with proposals taking a major step forward in November 2022 as they applied for planning permission.

Plans were approved by West Dunbartonshire Council in June of last year.

To mark the official start of works, Lidl welcomed local council leaders, Martin Rooney and Michelle McGinty, to break ground at the site alongside Ross Jackson, regional head of property at the firm.

They say that the development represents significant investment in the area - creating up to 40 new jobs for the local economy.

Lidl staff receive one of the highest rates of pay in the sector following the discounter’s third wage increase in 12 months.

With a sales area of 1,251m², the new store will also feature a bakery - recently crowned as the UK’s favourite.

It will also feature solar panels on the roof, rapid electric vehicle charging points in the car park, and customer toilets with baby changing facilities.

Ross Jackson of Lidl commented: “We’re very excited to have broken ground at our new Alexandria site and it was great to welcome local councillors to mark the occasion.

“As our customer base continues to grow, this latest move marks another important milestone in our ongoing investment in the country as we further strengthen our foothold in Scotland.”

Aerial photos of new Lidl and Aldi in Alexandria
The eyesore Mitchell Way shopping centre has been cleared for the store. -Credit:Craig Jump

Leader of West Dunbartonshire Council, Martin Rooney, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a big investment in the local area, and I welcome the local jobs that the new store will bring to Alexandria.

Having an anchor retail store was always part of our regeneration plans for Mitchell Way and we are delighted to have Lidl on board.

“It’s also really exciting that after all this time we are finally seeing Alexandria once again becoming the heart of the Vale.”

Demolishing Mitchell Way and the new Lidl store are key components of £12m plans to transform the Vale which will also see the rundown Main Street given a new lease of life and the iconic Smollett Fountain refurbished.

However the move has faced criticism with the new store to be built at the back of Mitchell Way on Bank Street, leading to fears it will divert more people away from the already struggling Main Street.

Plans to develop Mitchell Way in Alexandria with new homes and a Lidl have been submitted to West Dunbartonshire Council
An artists' impression of how the finished store will look. -Credit:Lennox Herald

In November 2022 Janice Ross of the Vale of Leven Trust said: “We’re not saying no to Lidl, that’s fine.

“The issue is where it is. All they are doing is continuing to extend the town centre - to the detriment of the other traders.

“It feels like that approach of doing something rather than nothing.

“But no thought has been given to if this something is what the Vale needs.”

After being approved last year, the SNP’s Ian Dickson said it would “be remembered as the day Labour signed the death warrant” for the town – after councillors agreed to slash the car park’s time limit to just 90 minutes.