GAZETTE COMMENT: Effect on the town centre remains to be seen

The site of the proposed McDonald's restaurant at Cawledge in Alnwick, between the petrol station and the A1.
The site of the proposed McDonald's restaurant at Cawledge in Alnwick, between the petrol station and the A1.

The news that McDonald’s is planning to open a restaurant on the outskirts of Alnwick is sure to cause a stir among townsfolk and those from the surrounding areas.

There was a flurry of activity relating to the fast-food giant at the start of the last decade, but it all came to nought.

Many will be hopeful that this time it’s for keeps and the scheme can be approved quickly and then built, particularly with the promise of 65 full and part-time jobs, primarily for local residents.

That headline figure of new jobs is important not to ignore, especially as the economic ‘recovery’ certainly isn’t in full swing.

But what remains uncertain, and is the flipside of the boost to Alnwick’s economy, is the impact a McDonald’s restaurant – one that can seat nearly 100 customers – would have on the town centre.

When the Gazette ran a poll about the prospect of McDonald’s coming to the town, the response was mixed, albeit with a small majority in favour, but the view was far less clear-cut than the avid support for a Wetherspoon’s pub.