JOBS will be created if a cut-price retailer replaces a gym on an out-of-town retail site in Bognor Regis.
Home Bargains has signed an agreement to lease unit 3 at the Bognor Regis Retail Park as part of its national expansion plans. The unit is occupied by Fitness First.
If the store opens, it will employ some 44 staff against the ten believed to be working in the gym.
The owner of the trading site, at the corner of Shripney Road and Rowan Way, has applied to Arun District Council for planning permission to change the use of the building.
Tim Miles, for Zurich Assurance’s planning agents, says in a statement with the application: “Research shows retail employment tends to be absorbed by residents within a relatively small catchment area, suggesting a large percentage of new jobs will be absorbed by local unemployed residents.
“This will be at all levels from shop floor staff to management positions.”
The use of the shop would also result in further job chances such as those for cleaners and security guards, he said.
Home Bargains has most of its stores in out-of-town retail parks.
It has more than 320 outlets around the country and wants to expand to 700-plus in the next five years.
“Home Bargains is a value grocery and general merchandise retailer whose slogan is ‘Top Brands, Bottom Prices’,” said Mr Miles.
Its stock typically includes furniture and homeware, garden care, DIY and hardware goods, pet products and some food. Mr Miles said food would be limited to less then 30 per cent of the 949sqm gross internal area. The unit would be one of Home Bargains’ smallest. No other suitable sites could be found around the town.