10 years ago this week: Thursday, September 19, 2002

Almost £26million is being lost annually by Alnwick businesses because shoppers head out of town for cheaper supermarkets.

The claim came during the first day of a planning inquiry to determine a 2,500-square metre store in Alnwick on the Willis site. It was revealed many people head to Ashington, Blyth and Newcastle for their bulk buying because they felt Alnwick’s Safeway was too expensive. Planning consultant Scott MacKay, speaking for Tesco, said: “From a shopping survey taking in 1,500 households, we estimated that half of the available consumer spending, amounting to £25.9million, was outside the Alnwick catchment area.

“There is no reason why an area like Alnwick cannot keep 80 per cent of its spending local. If Tesco built its store people would make linked visits into Alnwick from it.”