Residents have given a mixed reaction to plans to knock down a well-known Salford shopping precinct and build a new Lidl supermarket and shopping centre.
The cut-price supermarket will replace the run-down Mocha Parade, a shopping complex in Lower Broughton built in the 1970s.
One shopper still visiting Mocha Parade has fond memories of when it first opened: “I moved down to Lower Broughton when I was seven. When we first came [to the Mocha Parade], it was like another world.
“I came from like a two up, two down terrace. But when we came onto here, it was new and looked good. They had inflatables and lights in the windows and all the shops were full. And you look at it now and you just feel sorry for it.”
The area has been struggling for many years and took a major hit in 2015 when the Boxing Day floods destroyed any chance of Mocha Parade recovering. Since then, there has had an infestation of rats and geese wondering the area.
The Parade was once home to a doctors’ surgery, a pharmacist, a newsagents and fish and chip shop. Now, only a Heron Foods shop, a chemist and an independent greengrocer remain.
A worker at the greengrocers wished to remain nameless. They said: “We’re moving but we’re lucky. All the others have had to shut down and it’s all gonna be gone soon. It’s a shame but that’s the world, isn’t it?”
Lidl acquired the contract for the new development of the area earlier this year and announced they will be demolishing all buildings along the Mocha Parade.
As well as the supermarket the new shopping complex will have a bakery, car park and a health centre. It will be the closest supermarket to the residents of Lower Broughton and will mean many people will not have to make their way to Salford Precinct.
However, Al, a shopkeeper close to the Mocha Parade, still has faith in his business. He said: “I think initially people will go to check [Lidl] out, see what’s going on.
“But I reckon we’ll be okay because we’re a different thing. It can always just pop into your local but you have to sit through all those queues in supermarkets. If people were gonna stop coming here, they’d have stopped years ago.”
Joshua Aspenall, another local shop worker, does not agree. “I think for the area, it’ll be a good thing. You don’t really have any other supermarkets nearby and a lot of people go to their local shops like myself.
“I think business will fall. Not too dramatically but we’ll definitely feel a hit regardless because big shopping centre, cheaper prices. People are gonna travel that bit further.”
All the shops along the Mocha Parade are set to close in January with demolition beginning in 2021.